A hybrid AI approach to staff scheduling

Graham Winstanley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


Assigning nursing staff to specific duties according to their contract, qualifications, skills, etc. within a working environment characterised by multi-disciplinarity and statutory regulations is problematic. Factors involved in making effective assignments include individual and corporate procedures, guidelines and constraints. Manual rostering commonly proceeds through a process of reasoning in which a number of consecutive stages occur to progressively refine and repair the work schedule. This paper discusses an approach to nurse rostering, using a strategy of distributing the computational effort required in the scheduling process. The technique involves a hybrid approach that devolves responsibility for different aspects of the problem to a heuristic component and a constraint solver. In the pre-processing stage, the staff to be rostered are treated as semi-autonomous agents, each with individual responsibility for their initial assignment, and communicating with a global constraint satisfaction agent. This has proved to be intuitive to build and effective in use.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch and development in intelligent systems XIX: proceedings of the 22nd SGAI international conference on knowledge based systems and applied artificial intelligence, Cambridge, UK, December 2002
EditorsM. Bramer, A. Preece, F. Coenen
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)1852336749
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Publication series

NameBCS conference series


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