Automated Shift Design and Break Scheduling
Shift design and break scheduling are important employee scheduling problems that arise in many contexts, especially at airports, call centers, and service industries. The aim is to find a minimum number of legal shifts, the number of workers assigned to them, and a suitable number of breaks so that the deviation from predetermined workforce requirements is minimized. Such problems have been extensively investigated in Operations Research and recently have been also tackled with Artificial Intelligence techniques. In this chapter we outline major characteristics of these problems and provide a literature survey over solution techniques to solve them. We then describe in detail two state-of-the-art approaches based on local search techniques. Finally, we discuss our experiences with the application of one of these techniques in a real life case study.
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