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Optimizing daily agent scheduling in a multiskill call center

Optimizing daily agent scheduling in a multiskill call center
Optimizing daily agent scheduling in a multiskill call center
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.

call center, stochastic optimization, staffing, scheduling, service level, cutting plane method
0377-2217
822-832
Avramidis, Athanassios N.
d6c4b6b6-c0cf-4ed1-bbe1-a539937e4001
Chan, Wyean
a586189c-9ade-4243-bb4a-0749c3950b82
Gendreau, Michel
9b14cc56-9176-4739-8c11-6de1dfed2834
L’Ecuyer, Pierre
3fb7809b-81c8-4b61-8928-0de33c859a60
Pisacane, Ornella
235ee1ba-eb65-480e-ad3f-29870362d794
Avramidis, Athanassios N.
d6c4b6b6-c0cf-4ed1-bbe1-a539937e4001
Chan, Wyean
a586189c-9ade-4243-bb4a-0749c3950b82
Gendreau, Michel
9b14cc56-9176-4739-8c11-6de1dfed2834
L’Ecuyer, Pierre
3fb7809b-81c8-4b61-8928-0de33c859a60
Pisacane, Ornella
235ee1ba-eb65-480e-ad3f-29870362d794

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.

Record type: Article

Abstract

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.

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More information

Published date: 1 February 2010
Keywords: call center, stochastic optimization, staffing, scheduling, service level, cutting plane method
Organisations: Operational Research

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 149997
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/149997
ISSN: 0377-2217
PURE UUID: 953cb063-598a-48be-bf36-0a2e915bad4c

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Date deposited: 04 May 2010 12:17
Last modified: 17 Oct 2017 12:36

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Contributors

Author: Wyean Chan
Author: Michel Gendreau
Author: Pierre L’Ecuyer
Author: Ornella Pisacane

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