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D-WMS: Distributed workforce management using CLP

Fotios Kokkoras, Steve Gregory, D-WMS: Distributed workforce management using CLP. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on the Practical Application of Constraint Technology. ISSN 0952555409, pp. 129–146. March 1998. No electronic version available.

Abstract

We present a distributed CLP-based approach for solving a real workforce management problem (BT's DT-250-118). The problem consists of a set of jobs that we want to assign to engineers in order to serve as many of them as possible at a minimum cost. We first divide the problem into sub-problems and then assign each of them to a solving agent. Each agent works independently to solve its own sub-problem and then co-operates with its peers to optimize further the intermediate results. In the sub-problem solving stage, our agents use a CLP based approach which has been used in the past in a centralized, global way. Our method allows naturally distributed scheduling and resource allocation problems to be solved in a short time with minimal disruption to the quality of solutions when compared against global approaches.

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