Timetabling of Workplace Training: A Combination of Mathematical Programming and Simulated Annealing

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Conference Proceeding
PATAT 2016: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference of the Practice and Theory of Automated Timetabling, 2016, pp. 95 - 107 (13)
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The paper is concerned with the problem of scheduling workplace training, which arises in a broad range of organisations, from the hospital placements of nursing students to apprentice training at organisations such as electricity distributors. The problem can be viewed as a generalisation of the open shop scheduling problem. The paper discusses the complexity of the considered problem, and presents an optimisation procedure, which is a sequential application of integer linear programming and simulated annealing. The effectiveness of the proposed optimisation procedure was demonstrated by computational experiments using data with typical characteristics of a real world problems arising at large electricity distributors. The computational experiments show that the proposed optimisation procedure produces superior solutions on average compared to those from a general purpose MIP solver.
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