Thursday 26 Feb 2015: Optimization Techniques for Workforce Scheduling and Routing Problems
Professor Dario Landa-Silva - University of Nottingham
In the context of workforce scheduling, there are many scenarios in which personnel must carry out tasks at different locations hence requiring some form of transportation. Examples of this type of scenarios include nurses visiting patients at home, technicians carrying out repairs at customers’ locations and security guards performing rounds at different premises, etc. These mobile workforce scheduling scenarios involve the scheduling of personnel combined with some form of routing. First, this talk presents a survey of this type of problems and solution methods. We identify the key features of these problems and the range of solution techniques that have been applied to tackle them. Next, the talk describes a study on the computational difficulty of solving this type of problems. This study aims to understand the challenges that these problems present to optimization techniques. Finally, the talk presents some ongoing work on the development of practical solutions methods to tackle these large and difficult problems in a variety of real-world scenarios faced by our industrial partner, a provider of mobile workforce scheduling and management software.