Shift Scheduling Benchmark Data Sets
Staff scheduling problems are found in a wide range of industries and workforces. These include airlines, airports, armed forces, call/contact centres, emergency services (police, fire and ambulance crews), factories, healthcare (physicians and nurses), hospitality, retail, security personnel, transportation sector (train and bus drivers). Creating staff schedules is a challenging and time consuming process. It is known to belong to a mathematical class of problems (NP-Hard) considered intractable. Although there is no known algorithm that can guarantee optimal solutions in practical computation times, it is possible to generate schedules which are significantly better than those produced by an expert human planner, and in a fraction of the time. These models and algorithms are the focus of our research.
To help test and develop the algorithms we have compiled a diverse and challenging collection of benchmark test instances from various sources including industrial collaborators and scientific publications.
The benchmark instances and solutions are modelled using Staff Roster Solutions' XML based modelling format. It is a flexible format which handles the range of rules and requirements found in different workplaces. The data files can also be read by Staff Roster Solutions' modelling software - RosterViewer. RosterViewer is a graphical user interface which can be used to view and verify new solutions.