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), pp. 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)
Keywords: call center, stochastic optimization, staffing, scheduling, service level, cutting plane method
Organisations: Operational Research
ePrint ID: 149997
Date :
Date Event
1 February 2010Published
Date Deposited: 04 May 2010 12:17
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 14:23
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/149997

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