A column generation-based heuristic for rostering with work patterns

Richard Martin Lusby, Anders Høeg Dohn, Troels Martin Range, Jesper Larsen

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    This paper addresses the Ground Crew Rostering Problem with Work Patterns, an important manpower planning problem arising in the ground operations of airline companies. We present a cutting stock-based integer programming formulation of the problem and describe a powerful heuristic decomposition approach, which utilizes column generation and variable fixing, to construct efficient rosters for a six-month time horizon. The time horizon is divided into smaller blocks, where overlaps between the blocks ensure continuity. The proposed methodology is able to circumvent one step of the conventional roster construction process by generating rosters directly based on the estimated workload. We demonstrate that this approach has the additional advantage of being able to easily incorporate robustness in the roster. Computational results on real-life instances confirm the efficiency of the approach.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)261-277
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • column generation
    • manpower planning
    • optimization
    • cutting stock problem

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