IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/rug/rugwps/05-316.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

An Electromagnetic Meta-Heuristic for the Nurse Scheduling Problem

Author

Listed:
  • B. MAENHOUT

    ()

  • M. VANHOUCKE

    ()

Abstract

In this paper, we present a novel meta-heuristic technique for the nurse scheduling problem (NSP). This well-known scheduling problem assigns nurses to shifts per day taking both hard and soft constraints into account. The objective is to maximize the preferences of the nurses and to minimize the total penalty cost from violations of the soft constraints. The problem is known to be NP-hard. Due to its complexity and relevance, many algorithms have been developed to solve practical, and often case-specific versions of the NSP. The enormous amount of different constraints has led to an overwhelming amount of exact and meta-heuristic procedures, and hence comparison and stateof- the-art reporting of standard results seem to be a utopian idea. The contribution of this paper is twofold. First, we present a meta-heuristic procedure for the NSP based on the framework proposed by Birbil and Fang (2003). The Electromagnetic (EM) approach is based on the theory of physics, and simulates attraction and repulsion of sample points in order to move towards a promising solution. Second, we present computational experiments on a standard benchmark dataset, and solve problem instances under different assumptions. We show that our procedure performs consistently well under many different circumstances, and hence, can be considered as robust against case-specific constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • B. Maenhout & M. Vanhoucke, 2005. "An Electromagnetic Meta-Heuristic for the Nurse Scheduling Problem," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/316, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:05/316
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://wps-feb.ugent.be/Papers/wp_05_316.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. M. Vanhoucke & D. Debels, 2005. "The Discrete Time/Cost Trade-Off Problem Under Various Assumptions Exact And Heuristic Procedures," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/314, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    2. G. Poels & A. Maes & F. Gailly, 2005. "User Attitudes towards Pattern-Based Enterprise Information Models: A Replicated Experiment with REA Diagrams," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/315, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    3. I. Vermeir & M. Geuens, 2005. "Need for Closure and Youngsters’ Leisure Time Preferences," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/318, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    4. P. Everaert & G. Sarens, 2005. "Outsourcing bij Vlaamse Ondernemingen: een Exploratief Onderzoek," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/306, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    5. A. Heirman & B. Clarysse, 2005. "The imprinting effect of initial resources and market strategy on the early growth path of start-Ups," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/310, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    6. S. CLAEYS & G. LANINE & K. SCHOORs, 2005. "Bank Supervision Russian Style: Rules vs Enforcement and Tacit Objectives," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/307, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    7. M. Vanhoucke & S. Vandevoorde, 2005. "A simulation and evaluation of earned value metrics to forecast the project duration," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/317, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    8. S. Vandevoorde & M. Vanhoucke, 2005. "A Comparison of Different Project Duration Forecasting Methods using Earned Value Metrics," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/312, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    9. A. Maes & G. Poels & F. Gailly & R. Paemeleire, 2005. "Measuring User Beliefs and Attitudes towards Conceptual Models: A Factor and Structural Equation Model," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/311, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    meta-heuristics; electromagnetism; nurse scheduling;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:05/316. 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: (Nathalie Verhaeghe). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ferugbe.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.