Airport workforce optimization
About the company
This Challenge was proposed by one of the major Latin American airline companies. It operates all around the world and covers more than 100 countries. This challenge dealt with workforce scheduling in El Dorado airport (Bogotá), one of the company's most important hubs.
This workforce management problem combines two optimization problems.
On one hand, there is a scheduling problem, where many decisions have to be determined: how to design the shifts (start, finish, break time) to fulfill the demand and all the constraints related to corporate policies, legislation and staff preferences? How to assign the agents according to their skills?
On a second hand, there is a transportation problem. The airport operation being 24/7, the company hires taxicabs for the transportation of it’s staff during night time. To minimize costs, the employees who have the same schedule would share the same cabs. However, this cab sharing has to be done effectively in order not to increase individual travel times. The company used to solve these two problems independently. However, as the Challenge showed, this is far from optimal and huge gains can be made by solving both problems at the same time.
Julio Mejía at el Dorado Airport presenting to the company
decrease in number of required vehicles
decrease in transportation travel distances
Winners of the Challenge
Julio Mejía Vera
Daniel and Julio's software cuts the unsatisfied demand by 50%. Transportation wise their solution reduces by 50% the number of required vehicles and by 30% the overall traveled distances. Their solution manages also to make starting times 40% less variable which is very important for the well being of the agents. The running time is under 15 minutes.
Angie Vanessa Barahona
Angie's software focuses on improving the wellbeing of the agents. It creates a solution that makes space for 11 more rest days. It also reduces the number of required cab trips by 36% in about 5 minutes running time. Angie also analyzes the company's solution and proposed some organizational changes to reduce unsatisfied demand by 66% while generating 56 more rest days
A word from the professor
This was a fascinating problem combining transportation and scheduling optimization. Solving these two problems separately inevitably leads to less than optimal solutions. Indeed, travel times will necessarily be longer if people who live far from each other are assigned to the same schedules because they would be more likely to share the same cab. In addition to this difficulty, our students had to balance their algorithms to optimize many contradictory objectives at the same time : maximize service level, minimize transportation costs, minimize individual travel times from home to work and work to home, minimize the change in schedules for each agents and give as many additional rest days as possible.
Prof. Rabie Nait-Abdallah
Leader of the Challenge