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Demand uncertainty in robust Home Care optimization

Author

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  • Cappanera, Paola
  • Scutellà, Maria Grazia
  • Nervi, Federico
  • Galli, Laura

Abstract

We study the Home Care Problem under uncertainty. Home Care refers to medical, paramedical and social services that may be delivered to patient homes. The term includes several aspects involved in the planning of home care services, such as caregiver-to-patient assignment, scheduling of patient requests, and caregiver routing. In Home Care, cancellation of requests and additional demand for known or new patients are very frequent. Thus, managing demand uncertainty is of paramount importance in limiting service disruptions that might occur when such events realize. We address uncertainty of patient demand over a multiple-day time horizon, when assignment, scheduling and routing decisions are taken jointly, both from a methodological and a computational perspective. In fact, we propose a non-standard cardinality-constrained robust approach, analyse its properties, and report the results of a wide experimentation on real-life instances. The obtained results show that, for instances of moderate size, the approach is able to efficiently determine robust solutions of good quality in terms of balancing among caregivers and number of uncertain requests that can be managed. Also, the robustness of the solutions with respect to possible realizations of uncertain requests, evaluated on a small subset of instances, appears to be significant. Furthermore, preliminary experiments on a decomposition method, obtained from the robust one by fixing the scheduling decisions, show a drastic gain in computational efficiency, with the determination of robust solutions of still good quality. Therefore, the approach appears to be very promising to cope with robustness even on Home Care instances of larger size.

Suggested Citation

  • Cappanera, Paola & Scutellà, Maria Grazia & Nervi, Federico & Galli, Laura, 2018. "Demand uncertainty in robust Home Care optimization," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 95-110.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:80:y:2018:i:c:p:95-110
    DOI: 10.1016/j.omega.2017.08.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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