A metaheuristics approach to the nurse rostering problem

Arthur Torgo Gomez, José Vicente Canto dos Santos, Maira Regina Poltosi


Health care providers are affected by problems of personnel costs. Usually, the generation of rosters is a hand-made and time-consuming task and does not always comply with the legislation and the internal rules. The article presents an approach to roster generation for nursing technicians according to legal and internal restrictions and in a satisfactory period of time. It is also designed to give employees a higher level of satisfaction concerning their day off preferences and a fair distribution of unpopular shifts.The article’s proposal is to develop a hybrid system formed by a Tabu Search metaheuristic combined with a genetic algorithm. Experiments were carried out with artificial test cases based on real data. The results obtained were satisfactory, showing the feasibility of the solution in all tests performed.

Key words: rostering problem, tabu search, genetic algorithm, hybrid systems.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. [updated on August 2016]

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