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Constraint programming for nurse scheduling

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4 Author(s)
Weil, G. ; Fac. de Med., IMAG, Grenoble, France ; Heus, K. ; Francois, P. ; Poujade, M.

Nurse scheduling is a difficult, multifaceted problem. Here, the authors have presented the efficiency of Constraint Programming for solving this problem. The results obtained are very satisfactory for response time and for flexibility. The advantages of implementing this method are multiple: 1) it saves much time for the head nurse in the generation of schedules (the authors met head nurses for whom the task of scheduling takes a full working day); 2) the proposed system is not a rigid tool for schedule generation, but it is designed to help the decision maker in decisions and negotiations; 3) the proposed system is a flexible tool with respect to individual requests and for overcoming unforeseen absences; 4) it is very easy to manage constraints whether, for example, to define new constraints, activating or deactivating particular constraints, or modifying an already defined constraint. Ilog-Solver is a powerful tool for constraint programming. It provides the user with several types of variables, and the possibility of defining a specific constraint for the problem. The integration of object programming provided by Ilog-Solver allows better representation and saves much memory

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 4 )