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Optimal work shift scheduling with fatigue minimization and day off preferences

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Shift work disrupts the sleep-wake cycle, leading to sleepiness, fatigue, and performance impairment, with implications for occupational health and safety. For example, aircraft maintenance crew work a 24-hour shift rotation under the job stress of sustaining the flight punctuality rate. If an error occurs during the aircraft maintenance process, this error may become a potential risk factor for flight safety. This paper focuses on optimal work shift scheduling to reduce the fatigue of shiftworkers. We proposed a conditional exponential mathematical model to represent the fatigue variation of workers. The fatigue model is integrated with the work shift scheduling problem with considerations of workers' preferences of days off, company or government regulations, and manpower requirements. The combined problem is formulated as a mixed-integer program, in which the shift assignments are described by binary variables. Using the proposed method, we can find a feasible work shift schedule and also have a schedule that minimizes the peak fatigue of shiftworkers while satisfying their days off demands. Several examples are provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach. © 2014 Ta-Chung Wang and Cheng-Che Liu.




Wang, T. C., & Liu, C. C. (2014). Optimal work shift scheduling with fatigue minimization and day off preferences. Mathematical Problems in Engineering, 2014.

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