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Optimal Dispatcher Workload Distribution

Santos, Cipriano A.; Zhang, Alex; Lopez, Ivan; Herrick, Glenn; Raper, Mark
HP Laboratories


Keyword(s): Transportation; Airline Operations; Optimization; Modeling

Abstract: The Workload Distribution (WKLD) problem is to assign Flight Legs to available Dispatcher Work Positions for a period of time. The primary objective is to balance the workload for Dispatcher Work Position at each hour of the day. Typically, the planning horizon is 30 days, there are approximately 1000 Flight Legs each day, and there are between 20 and 30 Positions open at various times of the day and week. Some Positions are open 24 hours a day. Our solution approach is based on a Mixed Integer Programming (MIP) model to optimally balance the workload for dispatcher work position at each hour of the day. The MIP formulation can be very large - with millions of binary variables; therefore we decomposed the problem into smaller and tractable sub-problems. We have built a Lab prototype to tackle the WKLD problem. The WKLD Lab prototype enables the optimization of the allocation of dispatcher positions to flight legs effort requirements. The WKLD Lab prototype increases safety since by optimizing the dispatcher workload distribution less stressed dispatcher reduces human error. In addition, less stressed dispatcher increases airline operations efficiency.

26 Pages

External Posting Date: October 6, 2011 [Fulltext]. Approved for External Publication
Internal Posting Date: October 6, 2011 [Fulltext]

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