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Simple Approaches to Shift, Days-Off and Tour Scheduling Problems

  • James G. Morris

    (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

  • Michael J. Showalter

    (Florida State University)

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    Shift and days-off scheduling problems have received much attention in the literature of integer programming approaches to workforce scheduling. A typical managerial use would be to schedule full-time employees to minimize the number of labor hours while satisfying variable workforce requirements of a service delivery system. We present computational experience to show that an easily implemented application of linear programming frequently produces optimal solutions to these problems. When the context progresses toward a continuous operating environment (service delivery over 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) we stress the need to shed the myopic views of the shift and days-off scheduling formulations in favor of an integrative tour scheduling formulation. For this problem we observe that a simple heuristic initiated by rounding down the associated LP solution consistently produces near optimal solutions. This observation is based on experiments over varying workforce requirement patterns.

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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 29 (1983)
    Issue (Month): 8 (August)
    Pages: 942-950

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:29:y:1983:i:8:p:942-950
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