Progress control in iterated local search for nurse rostering


Burke, E.K. and Curtois, T. and Fijn van Draat, L. and Ommeren, J-K van and Post, G. (2011) Progress control in iterated local search for nurse rostering. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 62 (2). pp. 360-367. ISSN 0160-5682

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Abstract:This paper describes an approach in which a local search technique is alternated with a process which ‘jumps’ to another point in the search space. After each ‘jump’ a (time-intensive) local search is used to obtain a new local optimum. The focus of the paper is in monitoring the progress of this technique on a set of real world nurse rostering problems. We propose a model for estimating the quality of this new local optimum. We can then decide whether to end the local search based on the predicted quality. The fact that we avoid searching these bad neighbourhoods enables us to reach better solutions in the same amount of time. We evaluate the approach on five highly constrained problems in nurse rostering. These problems represent complex and challenging real world rostering situations and the approach described here has been developed during a commercial implementation project by ORTEC bv.
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Copyright:© 2011 Palgrave MacMillan
Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
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