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Scalable load balancing in nurse to patient assignment problems

TitleScalable load balancing in nurse to patient assignment problems
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSchaus, Pierre, Van Hentenryck Pascal, and Régin Jean-Charles
Conference NameIntegration of AI and OR Techniques in Constraint Programming for Combinatorial Optimization Problems (CPAIOR)
Abstract

This paper considers the daily assignment of newborn infant patients to nurses in a hospital. The objective is to balance the workload of the nurses, while satisfying a variety of side constraints. Prior work proposed a MIP model for this problem, which unfortunately did not scale to large instances and only approximated the objective function, since minimizing the variance cannot be expressed in a linear model. This paper presents constraint programming (CP) models of increasing complexity to solve large instances with hundreds of patients and nurses in a few seconds using the Comet optimization system. The CP models use the recent spread global constraint to minimize the variance, as well as an exact decomposition technique.

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