A variable neighbourhood search for the workforce scheduling and routing problem
Pinheiro, Rodrigo Lankaites and Landa-Silva, Dario and Atkin, Jason (2015) A variable neighbourhood search for the workforce scheduling and routing problem. In: Advances in nature and biologically inspired computing: proceedings of the 7th World Congress on Nature and Biologically Inspired Computing, NaBIC2015, in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, held December 01-03, 2015. Advances in intelligent systems and computing (419). Springer, Cham, pp. 247-259. ISBN 9783319273990
The workforce scheduling and routing problem (WSRP) is a combinatorial optimisation problem where a set of workers must perform visits to geographically scattered locations. We present a Variable Neighbourhood Search (VNS) metaheuristic algorithm to tackle this problem, incorporating two novel heuristics tailored to the problem-domain. The first heuristic restricts the search space using a priority list of candidate workers and the second heuristic seeks to reduce the violation of specific soft constraints. We also present two greedy constructive heuristics to give the VNS a good starting point. We show that the use of domain-knowledge in the design of the algorithm can provide substantial improvements in the quality of solutions. The proposed VNS provides the first benchmark results for the set of real-world WSRP scenarios considered.
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