Cooperative search for fair nurse rosters

Simon Martin, Djamila Ouelhadj, P. Smet, G. Vanden Berghe, E. Ozcan

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The development of decision support systems acceptable for nurse rostering practitioners still presents a daunting challenge. Building on an existing nurse rostering problem, a set of fairness-based objective functions recently introduced in the literature has been extended. To this end, a generic agent-based cooperative search framework utilising new mechanisms is described, aiming to combine the strengths of multiple metaheuristics. These different metaheuristics represent individual planners' implicit procedures for improving rosters. The framework enables to explore different ways of assessing nurse rosters in terms of fairness objectives. Computational experiments have been conducted across a set of benchmark instances. The overall results indicate that the proposed cooperative search for fair nurse rosters outperforms each metaheuristic run individually.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6674-6683
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013


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