Groupe d’études et de recherche en analyse des décisions

G-2007-17

Simulation-Based Optimization of Agent Scheduling in Multiskill Call Centers

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We examine and compare simulation-based algorithms for solving the agent scheduling problem in a multiskill call center. This problem consists in minimizing the total costs of agents under constraints on the expected service level per call type, per period, and aggregated. We propose a solution approach that combines simulation with integer or linear programming, with cut generation. In our numerical experiments with realistic problem instances, this approach performs better than all other methods proposed previously for this problem. We also show that the two-step approach, which is the standard method for solving this problem, sometimes yield solutions that are highly suboptimal and inferior to those obtained by our proposed method.

, 20 pages