A Biased-Randomized Heuristic for the Home Healthcare Routing Problem

Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics book series (PROMS, volume 223)


The home healthcare routing problem (HHRP) refers to the problem of allocating and routing caregivers to care-dependent people at their homes. It has been mostly tackled in the literature as a rich vehicle routing problem with time windows. This paper proposes a biased-randomized heuristic, based on the well-known savings heuristic, to solve the HHRP. The algorithm is tested in small but real-case instances where patients’ visits may occur more than once a day and, in such cases, all the visits have to be performed by the same caregiver. The results show the algorithm provides good quality results in reasonably low computing times.


Home healthcare Vehicle routing problem with time windows Biased-randomized heuristic Real case instances 



This work was partially supported by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology) through the project UID/MAT/00297/2013 (Centro de Matemática e Aplicações).


  1. 1.
    C. Akjiratikarl, P. Yenradee, P.R. Drake, PSO-based algorithm for home care worker scheduling in the UK. Comput. Ind. Eng. 53(4), 559–583 (2007). ISSN 0360-8352.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cie.2007.06.002, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360835207000927
  2. 2.
    V.S. Begur, D.M. Miller, J.R. Weaver, An integrated spatial DSS for scheduling and routing home-health-care nurses. Interfaces 27(4), 35–48 (1997)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    R.B. Bachouch, A. Guinet, S. Hajri-Gabouj, A decision-making tool for home health care nurses’ planning. Supply Chain. Forum 12(1), 14–20 (2011)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    S. Bertels, T. Fahle, A hybrid setup for a hybrid scenario: Combining heuristics for the home health care problem. Comput. Oper. Res. 33(10), 2866–2890 (2006).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cor.2005.01.015
  5. 5.
    European Commission, Health and long-term care in the European Union. Spec. Eurobarometer 283, 25–27 (2007)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    P. Eveborn, P. Flisberg, M. Ronnqvist, Laps care an operational system for staff planning of home care. Eur. J. Oper. Res. 171(3), 962–976 (2006). ISSN 0377-2217Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    T.A. Feo, M.G.C Resende, Greedy randomized adaptive search procedures. J. Glob. Optim. 6(2), 109–133 (1995)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    C. Fikar, P. Hirsch, Home health care routing and scheduling: a review. Comput. Oper. Res. 77, 86–95 (2017).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cor.2016.07.019. ISSN 0305-0548
  9. 9.
    G. Hiermann, M. Prandtstetter, A. Rendl, J. Puchinger, G.R. Raidl, Metaheuristics for solving a multimodal home-healthcare scheduling problem. Cent. Eur. J. Oper. Res. 23(1), 89–113 (2015)MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    A.A. Juan, J. Faulin, J. Jorba, D. Riera, D. Masip, B. Barrios, On the use of Monte Carlo simulation, cache and splitting techniques to improve the Clarke and Wright savings heuristics. J. Oper. Res. Soc. 62(6), 1085–1097 (2011).  https://doi.org/10.1057/jors.2010.29 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    A.A. Juan, J. Faulin, A. Ferrer, H.R. Lourenço, B. Barrios, MIRHA: multi-start biased randomization of heuristics with adaptive local search for solving non-smooth routing problems. Top 21(1), 109–132 (2013)MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    H.S. Kaye, M.P. LaPlante, C. Harrington, Do noninstitutional long-term care services reduce medicaid spending? Health Aff. 28(1), 262–272 (2009).  https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.28.1.262
  13. 13.
    R. Lahyani, M. Khemakhem, F. Semet, Rich vehicle routing problems: from a taxonomy to a definition. Eur. J. Oper. Res. 241(1), 1–14 (2015).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2014.07.048
  14. 14.
    K.D. Rest, P. Hirsch, Daily scheduling of home health care services using time-dependent public transport. Flex. Serv. Manuf. J. 1–31 (2015).  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10696-015-9227-1
  15. 15.
    K.D. Rest, A. Trautsamwieser, P. Hirsch, Trends and risks in home health care. J. Humanit. Logist. Supply Chain Manag. 2(1), 34–53 (2012).  https://doi.org/10.1108/20426741211225993
  16. 16.
    R. Tarricone, A.D. Tsouros, Home Care in Europe: The Solid Facts (World Health Organization, Geneva, 2009)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel Eliseu
    • 1
  • M. Isabel Gomes
    • 2
  • Angel A. Juan
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Sciences and TechnologyNova University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Centro de Matemática e Aplicações, Faculty of Sciences and TecnologyNova University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.IN3 - Computer Science DeptartmentOpen University of CataloniaBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations