Approximate dynamic programming for capacity allocation in the service industry
We consider a problem where different classes of customers can book different types of service in advance and the service company has to respond immediately to the booking request confirming or rejecting it. The objective of the service company is to maximize profit made of class-type specific revenues, refunds for cancellations or no-shows as well as cost of overtime. For the calculation of the latter, information on the underlying appointment schedule is required. In contrast to most models in the literature we assume that the service time of clients is stochastic and that clients might be unpunctual. Throughout the paper we will relate the problem to capacity allocation in radiology services. The problem is modeled as a continuous-time Markov decision process and solved using simulation-based approximate dynamic programming (ADP) combined with a discrete event simulation of the service period. We employ an adapted heuristic ADP algorithm from the literature and investigate on the benefits of applying ADP to this type of problem. First, we study a simplified problem with deterministic service times and punctual arrival of clients and compare the solution from the ADP algorithm to the optimal solution. We find that the heuristic ADP algorithm performs very well in terms of objective function value, solution time, and memory requirements. Second, we study the problem with stochastic service times and unpunctuality. It is then shown that the resulting policy constitutes a large improvement over an “optimal” policy that is deduced using restrictive, simplifying assumptions.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Yigal Gerchak & Diwakar Gupta & Mordechai Henig, 1996. "Reservation Planning for Elective Surgery Under Uncertain Demand for Emergency Surgery," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(3), pages 321-334, March.
- Vandaele, Nico & Van Nieuwenhuyse, Inneke & Cupers, Sascha, 2003. "Optimal grouping for a nuclear magnetic resonance scanner by means of an open queueing model," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 151(1), pages 181-192, November.
- Singh, Sumeetpal S. & Tadic, Vladislav B. & Doucet, Arnaud, 2007. "A policy gradient method for semi-Markov decision processes with application to call admission control," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 178(3), pages 808-818, May.
- Gosavi, Abhijit, 2004. "Reinforcement learning for long-run average cost," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 155(3), pages 654-674, June.
- Sabine Sickinger & Rainer Kolisch, 2009. "The performance of a generalized Bailey–Welch rule for outpatient appointment scheduling under inpatient and emergency demand," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 408-419, December.
- Nan Liu & Serhan Ziya & Vidyadhar G. Kulkarni, 2010. "Dynamic Scheduling of Outpatient Appointments Under Patient No-Shows and Cancellations," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 12(2), pages 347-364, September.
- Tapas K. Das & Abhijit Gosavi & Sridhar Mahadevan & Nicholas Marchalleck, 1999. "Solving Semi-Markov Decision Problems Using Average Reward Reinforcement Learning," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(4), pages 560-574, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:218:y:2012:i:1:p:239-250. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.