A bi-objective home care scheduling problem: Analyzing the trade-off between costs and client inconvenience

Braekers, Kris and Hartl, Richard F. and Parragh, Sophie and Tricoire, Fabien (2016) A bi-objective home care scheduling problem: Analyzing the trade-off between costs and client inconvenience. European Journal of Operational Research, 248 (2). pp. 428-443. ISSN 0377-2217

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Organizations providing home care services are inclined to optimize their activities in order to meet the constantly increasing demand for home care. In this context, home care providers are confronted with multiple, often conflicting, objectives such as minimizing their operating costs while maximizing the service level offered to their clients by taking into account their preferences. This paper is the first to shed some light on the trade-off relationship between these two objectives by modeling the home care routing and scheduling problem as a bi-objective problem. The proposed model accounts for qualifications, working regulations and overtime costs of the nurses, travel costs depending on the mode of transportation, hard time windows, and client preferences on visit times and nurses. A distinguishing characteristic of the problem is that the scheduling problem for a single route is a biobjective problem in itself, thereby complicating the problem considerably. A metaheuristic algorithm, embedding a large neighborhood search heuristic in a multi-directional local search framework, is proposed to solve the problem. Computational experiments on a set of benchmark instances based on reallife data are presented. A comparison with exact solutions on small instances shows that the algorithm performs well. An analysis of the results reveals that service providers face a considerable trade-off between costs and client convenience. However, starting from a minimum cost solution, the average service level offered to the clients may already be improved drastically with limited additional costs. (authors' abstract)

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Routing / Metaheuristics / Home care scheduling / Multi-objective
Divisions: Departments > Welthandel > Transportwirtschaft und Logistik
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2016 14:39
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2016 16:20
Related URLs:
FIDES Link: https://bach.wu.ac.at/d/research/results/74808/
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/4832


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