Optimizing daily agent scheduling in a multiskill call center

Avramidis, Athanassios N., Chan, Wyean, Gendreau, Michel, L’Ecuyer, Pierre and Pisacane, Ornella (2010) Optimizing daily agent scheduling in a multiskill call center. European Journal of Operational Research, 200, (3), 822-832. (doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2009.01.042).


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We examine and compare simulation-based algorithms for solving the agent scheduling problem in a multiskill call center. This problem consists in minimizing the total costs of agents under constraints on the expected service level per call type, per period, and aggregated. We propose a solution approach that combines simulation with integer or linear programming, with cut generation. In our numerical experiments with realistic problem instances, this approach performs better than all other methods proposed previously for this problem. We also show that the two-step approach, which is the standard method for solving this problem, sometimes yield solutions that are highly suboptimal and inferior to those obtained by our proposed method.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2009.01.042
ISSNs: 0377-2217 (print)
Alternative titles: Innovative Applications of O.R. Optimizing daily agent scheduling in a multiskill call center
Keywords: call center, stochastic optimization, staffing, scheduling, service level, cutting plane method
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Mathematics > Operational Research
ePrint ID: 149997
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
1 February 2010Published
Date Deposited: 04 May 2010 12:17
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:23
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/149997

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