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Speaker Series Prof. Greet Vanden Berghe

Abstract - Nurse rostering from different perspectives

Health care is under high pressure to improve efficiency, given increasing requirements and decreasing resources.  Among the activities to optimise, nurse rostering is one of the most relevant to address.  The problem is computationally complex and has potential for improvement through automated decision support. Personnel rosters also have a considerable socio-economic impact.

This optimisation problem has yielded ample practice-oriented operational research approaches. Despite the vast amount of academic research results, it remains hard for novice developers to profit from general insights or re-usable approaches.  This `cold start’ issue can be partially explained by complicated regulations typical for personnel environments with 24/7 duties and different in almost every organisation.  The very same issue also persists due to the lack of a theoretical framework for nurse rostering.

From an academic point of view, interesting models have been developed for varying nurse rostering problems.  The approaches range from self-rostering and manual problem decompositions to different levels of automated decision support.

The seminar will focus on the relevance of academic results and on the interplay between practical and theoretical nurse rostering contributions.


Short biography

Greet Vanden Berghe is Professor of Computer Science at KU Leuven, Faculty of Engineering Technology.  She currently chairs the Technology Cluster Computer Science and she leads the CODeS research group (Combinatorial Optimization and Decision Support) in Gent.

Her research focuses on combinatorial optimisation and automated decision support:

-          developing efficient heuristic approaches to real life problems, particularly in health care and logistics,

-          developing effective adaptive heuristics to a wide range of combinatorial optimisation problems from practice,

-          developing general approaches to the class of structured problems, i.e. problems incorporating both components from scheduling and routing, rostering and scheduling, etc.