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In this paper, we use the methodology of simulation to evaluate six approaches for handling employee requirements In an LP-based labour tour scheduling heuristic. We model employee requirements both as minimum acceptable staffing levels-where understaffing is unacceptable-and as target staffing levels-where both under- and overstaffing are acceptable. For each representation of employee requirements, we evaluate forms of the heuristic that use problem-specific and problem-independent information on the costs of employee surpluses and, if appropriate, employee shortages. Over an extensive test data set, the target-staffing approach using problem-specific cost Information outperformed all other procedures. Specifically, it generated schedules costing less than 87% of those developed using the approach most commonly found in the literature. Its schedules were also almost 5% cheaper than those of its closest competitor. We discuss the managerial and research implications of the findings and provide suggestions for future research.


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© Elsevier. Final version published as: Thompson, G. M. (1993). Representing employee requirements in labor tour scheduling. Omega, 21(6), 657-671. doi: 10.1016/0305-0483(93)90007-8
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.