Manpower allocation and vehicle routing problem in non-emergency ambulance transfer service

Author:  Zhang, Z., Qin, H., Wang, K.(Department of Management Science and Engineering), He, H., Liu, T.
Publication:  Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 106, 45-59
Abstract:  We present a manpower allocation and vehicle routing problem (MAVRP), which is a real-life healthcare problem derived from the non-emergency ambulance transfer service in Hong Kong public hospitals. Both manpower and vehicles are critical resources for the hospitals in their daily operations. The service provider needs to make an effective schedule to dispatch drivers, assistants and ambulances to transport patients scattered in different locations. We formulate the MAVRP into a mathematical programming model and propose several variable neighborhood search (VNS) algorithms to solve it. We tested the VNS with steepest descent, first descent and a mixed of two descent strategies on the MAVRP instances. The computational results demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the VNS algorithms. Moreover, we also conducted additional experiments to analyze the impact of the number of vehicles on the solutions of the MAVRP instances.

Keywords:Manpower allocation; Vehicle routing; Healthcare; Variable neighborhood search