Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Fabian Bastin (Université de Montréal)

December 13, 2018 @ 13:00 - 14:00

Title: Staffing optimization in call centers

Abstract: Call centers are prominent in modern life, and labor intensive. We aim to determine the minimum number of agents in a multi-skill call center, while ensuring the desired level of quality of service to customers. We consider the case where the arrival rates cannot be forecast perfectly, leading to a two-stage stochastic optimization problem. The arrival rates are modeled as random variables with large variance (uncertainty) in the first stage of the staffing decision process. The number of agents can however be adjusted in a second stage, under some penalty costs, when the information on the arrival rates is more accurate. The quality of service is measured by the service level, defined as the proportion of calls answered within a given time, called the acceptable wait threshold. Since the number of calls coming into the call center is unknown, we only require that the service level constraints are satisfied with given (high) probabilities. These constraints cannot be evaluated analytically and are approximated using sample averages computed using simulation. We use a decomposition approach, based on the L-shaped method, to efficiently address the resulting optimization problem. We provide numerical studies to illustrate the performance of the decomposition algorithm, along with a validation study of the approach.

Joint work with Anh Thuy Ta, Wyean Chan, and Pierre L’Ecuyer.


December 13, 2018
13:00 - 14:00
Event Category:
Event Tags: