Nurse Scheduling Using Constraint Logic Programming

Slim Abdennadher, University of Munich and Hans Schlenker, Technical University of Berlin

The nurse scheduling problem consists of assigning working shifts to each nurse on each day of a certain period of time. A typical problem comprises 600 to 800 assignments that have to take into account several requirements such as minimal allocation of a sta- tion, legal regulations and wishes of the personnel. This planning is a difficult and time-consuming expert task and is still done manually. INTERDIP is an advanced industrial prototype that supports semi-automatic creation of such rosters. Using the artificial intelligence ap- proach, constraint reasoning and constraint programming, INTERDIP creates a roster interactively within some minutes instead of by hand some hours. Addi- tionally, it mostly produces better results. INTERDIP was developed in collaboration with Siemens Nixdorf. It was presented at the Systems'98 Computer exhibition in Munich and several companies have inquired to market our system.

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