The surgical case scheduling problem with fuzzy duration time: An ant system algorithm

Document Type: Article


1 Industrial Engineering Department, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Industrial Management Department, Management and Accounting Faculty, Shahid Beheshti University,G.C., Tehran, Iran


In this paper, we address the surgical case scheduling problem in multi operating theater environment with uncertain service times in order to minimize makespan. In surgical case scheduling, not only the hospital resources are allocated to surgical cases but also the start time of performing surgeries is determined based on sequence of cases in a short-term time horizon. We consider fuzzy numbers for duration times of all stages and hereafter the problem called fuzzy surgical case scheduling. Since the operational environment in the problem is similar to no-wait multi-resource fuzzy flexible job shop problem, we consider constraints of that for formulating and solving problem. This problem is strongly an NP-hard optimization problem, hence we employ ant system algorithm to tackle problem. The proposed approach is illustrated by detailed examples of three test cases, and numerical computational experiments. Therefore, the performance of proposed algorithm is compared with a schedule constructed by first-come-first-service rule on all test instances. Also, a real case is provided from Isfahan’s hospital to evaluate proposed algorithm.  Consequently, computational experiments state that algorithm outperforms results obtained by hospital planning as well as fuzzy rule, and these indicate efficiency and capability of our algorithm for optimizing the makespan.


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