Algorithms for the computerised construction of shift systems which meet ergonomic criteria

Appl Ergon. 1986 Sep;17(3):169-76. doi: 10.1016/0003-6870(86)90002-5.


A search algorithm is presented to generate all shift systems according to a given set of constraints, including physiological and social requirements. The generated shift systems are weighted according to such criteria as the time distribution of the shifts, the length of the weekend leisure time and the regularity of the shift system. The use of this algorithm is restricted to the construction of shift systems for a maximum of five crews, as is usual in industry. A heuristic algorithm for the construction of more complex shift systems, as used in the services sector, is also described. The user of the program may consider all criteria simultaneously. He must assign priorities to the criteria according to his wishes.