A Hybrid Scatter Search Heuristic for Personalized Crew Rostering in the Airline Industry
The crew scheduling problem in the airline industry is extensively investigated in the operations research literature since efficient crew employment can drastically reduce operational costs of airline companies. Given the flight schedule of an airline company, crew scheduling is the process of assigning all necessary crew members in such a way that the airline is able to operate all its flights and constructing a roster line for each employee minimizing the corresponding overall cost for personnel. In this paper, we present a scatter search algorithm for the airline crew rostering problem. The objective is to assign a personalized roster to each crew member minimizing the overall operational costs while ensuring the social quality of the schedule. We combine different complementary meta-heuristic crew scheduling combination and improvement principles. Detailed computational experiments of all characteristics of the procedure are presented. Moreover, we compare the proposed scatter search algorithm with an exact branch-and-price procedure and a steepest descent variable neighborhood search.
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