Université de Montréal, May 11, 2006

This one-day workshop on the modeling, simulation, and optimization of telephone call centers is aimed at students, researchers, and call center experts from the industry. The goal is to exchange information and ideas about all quantitative aspects of call center management where operations research can play a role. Issues of interest include:

-         What are the important optimization problems encountered in call centers?

-         How to build models that are realistic enough?

-         How should we model and forecast call arrivals?

-         Do we have good algorithms for staffing, scheduling, routing, etc.?

-         What software tools do we need?

Approximately eight 45-minute talks will be given by invited experts. Questions and discussions will be strongly encouraged during and after the talks. Each talk will serve as a framework that determines a topic, raises important issues related to that topic, and orient the discussion.

A small number of (short) contributed talks may be accepted. Proposals for contributed talks (with a title, abstract, and full affiliation of the speaker) must be submitted to the organizer before April 1, 2006.

The workshop is immediately preceded by the Annual Conference of the Canadian Operational Research Society (CORS) and the Optimization Days, which are held jointly from May 8 to 10 at HEC Montréal.

Final Schedule :

8:25 --  8:30

Opening remarks

8:30 --  9:20

Vijay Mehrotra, Blue Pumpkin Software and San Francisco University
"Intra-Day Updating Methodology for Call Center Agent Schedules"

9:20 -- 10:10

Chantal Gagné, Bell Canada
"I have a dream …."

10:10 -- 10:30

Coffee Break

10:30 -- 11:20

Shane Henderson, Cornell University
"Forecast errors and random arrival rates"

11:20 -- 12:10

Pierre L'Écuyer, Université de Montréal
"Staffing and Scheduling in Call Centers"


Lunch, Le Cercle (HEC Montréal)

13:20 -- 14:10

Christos Alexopoulos, Georgia Institute Of Technology
"A High-Volume Call Center with a Random Arrival Rate Function and Nonexponential Call Durations"

14:10 -- 15:00

Armann Ingolfsson, University of Alberta, Canada
"Government Regulation of Service Levels for Telephone Company Call Centres in Canada"

15:00 -- 15:20

Jean-Christophe Van den Schrieck, POMS/IAG/Université catholique de Louvain
"Approximating the  Performance of Call Centers with Queues Using Loss Models"

15:20 -- 15:40

Coffee Break

15:40 -- 16:30

Auke Pot, Free University of Amsterdam
"Composing schedules in multi-skill contact centers"

16:30 -- 17:20

Thanos Avramidis, Université de Montréal
"Staffing in multi-skill call centers"

Invited speakers:

Christos Alexopoulos, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Thanos Avramidis, Université de Montréal, Canada

Chantal Gagné, Bell Canada, Montréal, Canada

Shane Henderson, Cornell University, USA

Armann Ingolfsson, University of Alberta, Canada

Pierre L'Ecuyer, Université de Montréal, Canada

Vijay Mehrotra, Blue Pumkin Software and San Francisco State University, USA

Auke Pot, Frije University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands



Pierre L'Ecuyer, Canada Research Chair in Stochastic Simulation and Optimization


Local arrangements, registration, and logistics:

Carole Dufour, GERAD
Tel.: (514) 340-6053 ext. 6043

Fax: (514) 340-5269


Sponsored by:

Bell Canada


Centre for Research on Transportation



HEC Montréal, (Building no. 35 on the University of Montreal campus map)

Ernst & Young Room (number 69 on the map)

3000, chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine
Montréal (Qc) H3T 2A7

HEC Montréal access map.

To get to HEC using the public transportation services (STM):


Registration fees (in canadian dollars): Online registration.

$60 until April 7, 2006; $100 after April 7.

Students: $40

Includes a lunch and coffee. 


Accommodation and transportation

Links of interest


2004 Workshop on Call Centers