Automatic weight adjustment for the nurse rostering problem

Elin Björk Bödvarsdottir, Pieter Smet, Greet Vanden Berghe

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Despite the continuous progression in nurse rostering research over the years, only a few hospitals are benefitting from these advancements in their every-day scheduling. One of the reasons for the limited use of automatic scheduling in
practice is the absence of the experience-based intuition that planners apply when manually generating schedules. The relative importance of different objectives reported by the planners does not always coincide with their day-to-day
decisions. Furthermore, the planners’ decisions are not consistent, as their intuition perceives the quality of a schedule differently for different cases. Therefore, an automatic scheduling approach might require several iterations of adjusting
the weights of different objectives to obtain a solution that meets the needs of the planners. We propose a multi-phase method to automatize these iterations, where an initial phase produces a solution, and the subsequent phases analyze
the quality of the solution and seek to improve it based on various KPIs. We have defined these KPIs based on a dialog with practitioners and their intuition regarding schedule quality. Consequently, this method generates final weights based on the planners’ insights, rather than their perception of the relative importance of different objectives. Automatizing this process should result in a less resource intensive scheduling and thereby act as an encouragement for practitioners to incorporate the research in their everyday scheduling.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event30th European Conference On Operational Research
- University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 23 Jun 201926 Jun 2019
Conference number: 30


Conference30th European Conference On Operational Research
LocationUniversity College Dublin
Internet address

Cite this

Bödvarsdottir, E. B., Smet, P., & Vanden Berghe, G. (2019). Automatic weight adjustment for the nurse rostering problem. Abstract from 30th European Conference On Operational Research
, Dublin, Ireland.