A Hybrid AI Approach to Staff Scheduling
Assigning staff to specific duties according to their contract, qualifications, skills, etc. within a working environment characterised by multi-disciplinarity and statutory regulations is problematic. 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. In the pre-processing stage, the staff to be rostered are treated as semi-autonomous agents, each equipped with heuristics to guide their initial assignment. Compilation of individual rosters is followed by a scheduling phase in which a constraint solving agent applies constraint logic programming (CLP) techniques in the generation of ‘acceptable’ rosters.
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