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Baskaran, Geetha
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Subjects:
Staff scheduling is a complex combinatorial optimisation problem concerning allocation of staff to duty rosters in a wide range of industries and settings. This thesis presents a novel approach to solving staff scheduling problems, and in particular nurse scheduling, by simplifying the problem space through information granulation. The complexity of the problem is due to a large solution space and the many constraints that need to be satisfied. Published research indicates that methods based on random searches of the solution space did not produce good-quality results consistently. In this study, we have avoided random searching and proposed a systematic hierarchical method of granulation of the problem domain through pre-processing of constraints. The approach is general and can be applied to a wide range of staff scheduling problems.\ud The novel approach proposed here involves a simplification of the original problem by a judicious grouping of shift types and a grouping of individual shifts into weekly sequences. The schedule construction is done systematically, while assuring its feasibility and minimising the cost of the solution in the reduced problem space of weekly sequences. Subsequently, the schedules from the reduced problem space are translated into the original problem space by taking into account the constraints that could not be represented in the reduced space. This two-stage approach to solving the scheduling problem is referred to here as a domain-transformation approach.\ud The thesis reports computational results on both standard benchmark problems and a specific scheduling problem from Kajang Hospital in Malaysia. The results confirm that the proposed method delivers high-quality results consistently and is computationally efficient.
  • The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!

    • Baskaran, G., Bargiela, A. & Qu, R. (2014). Integer programming: Using branch-and-bound to solve the nurse scheduling problem. In 2014 International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Manufacturing Engineering (IIE ICAIME2014). Dubai, UAE, 25-26 Dec, pp. 211-217, Paper ID: U1214025, ISBN 978-93-84468-11-8.
    • Baskaran, G., Bargiela, A. & Qu, R. (2014). Seeing the bigger picture: Domain transformation approach to the nurse scheduling problem. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences (AENSI Journal), 8(24) Special: 308-320, ISSN:1991-8178. In: International Conference on Science, Engineering and Technology, Jakarta, Indonesia. (BEST PAPER AWARD: Appendix I).
    • Baskaran, G., Bargiela, A. & Qu, R. (2014). New solution for a benchmark nurse scheduling problem using integer programming. In International Conference on Information, Management Science and Application (ICIMSA 2014). Beijing, China, pp. 350-353, ISBN (IEEE Xplore): 978-1-4799-6541-0/14/$31.00
    • Baskaran, G., Bargiela, A. & Qu, R. (2014). Simulation of scheduling and cost effectiveness of nurses using domain transformation method. In 28th European Conference for Modelling and Simulation (ECMS 2014). Brescia, Italy, pp. 226-234, doi:10.7148/2014-0226
    • Baskaran, G., Bargiela A. & Qu, R. (2013). A study of cost effective scheduling of nurses based on the domain transformation method. In 27th European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS 2013). Alesund, Norway, doi:10.7148/2013-0309
    • Baskaran, G., Bargiela, A. & Qu, R. (2009). Hierarchical method for nurse rostering based on granular pre-processing of constraints. In Proceedings of 23rd European Conference on Modelling and Simulation. Madrid, Spain, doi:10.7148/2009-0855-0860
    • Baskaran, G., Bargiela, A. & Qu, R. (2015). Introduction to domain transformation in nurse scheduling. In Research for Computer Science School. University of Nottingham, Malaysia.
    • Baskaran, G., Bargiela, A. & Qu, R. (2009). Introduction to hierarchical method in nurse scheduling. In Research for a Better Tomorrow: Impacts in the 21st Century. University of Nottingham, Malaysia.
    • Chapter 1: Introduction ........................................................................... 1 1.1 Introduction ......................................................................................... 1 1.2 Problem Statement and Scope ............................................................ 7 1.3 Research Questions ............................................................................. 8 1.4 Thesis Overview .................................................................................. 8
    • Chapter 2: Literature Review ............................................................... 10 2.1 Background of Scheduling and Staff Scheduling.............................. 10 2.2 Nurse Scheduling Problems .............................................................. 12 2.2.1 Cyclic v. non-cyclic scheduling ................................................... 14 2.2.2 Complexity of nurse scheduling ................................................. 15 2.2.3 Constraints in nurse scheduling ................................................ 17 2.2.4 Objective functions ..................................................................... 20 2.3 Summary of Nurse Scheduling Approaches and Techniques........... 20 2.4 Survey Review of the Nurse Scheduling Problem ............................ 28 2.5 Summary ........................................................................................... 30
    • Chapter 3: Datasets and Background of the Nurse Scheduling
    • Problem ..................................................................................................... 33 3.1 Datasets ............................................................................................. 33 3.1.1 ORTEC........................................................................................ 33 3.1.2 Shifts and shift demand ............................................................. 34 3.1.3 Kajang Hospital.......................................................................... 38 3.1.4 Shifts and shift demand ............................................................. 39 3.1.5 Other real-world benchmark problems. ..................................... 44 3.2 Further Definition of Shifts, Sequence of Shifts, Schedules and Scheduling.......................................................................................... 48
    • Chapter 4: Domain Transformation Approach.................................. 53 4.1 The Bigger Picture............................................................................. 53 4.2 Overview of Information Granulation .............................................. 55 4.3 Granular Computing Work ............................................................... 57 4.4 Proposed Approach of Domain Transformation................................ 58 4.4.1 Granulation of constraints ......................................................... 61 4.4.2 Granulation of shift sequences into patterns............................. 63 4.4.3 Pattern construction................................................................... 65 4.5 Important Novel Design of Domain Transformation Algorithm ...... 67 4.6 Pattern Generator ............................................................................. 69
    • Chapter 6: Conclusions and Future Work ........................................ 118 6.1 Outcomes of the Research ............................................................... 118 6.2 Future Research .............................................................................. 123 6.3 Conclusions...................................................................................... 124
    • Appendix A: Schedule for 13 weeks ................................................... 149
    • Appendix B: Schedule for 52 weeks ................................................... 150
    • Appendix C: Cost-Effectiveness in Nurse Scheduling.................... 154
    • Appendix D: Investigator's Agreement with Hospital Kajang ..... 164
    • Appendix E: Cover Letter .................................................................... 165
    • Appendix F: Letter of Approval to Conduct Research................... 166
    • Appendix I: Certificate of Excellent Presentation Award ............ 169
    • Appendix J: Certificate of Best Paper Award.................................. 170
    • Appendix K: Certificate of Keynote Speaker ................................... 171
    • Appendix L: Certificate of Award: Gold Medal................................ 172
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