Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2018


Timothy Anderson

Course Title

Operations Research

Course Number

ETM 540/640


Mathematical optimization -- Applications to shift scheduling, System analysis -- Mathematical models, Portland State University. Library -- Management, Operational research


Scheduling is important in any business as it creates an order and flow ensuring that all the tasks are covered at appropriate times. According to experts, scheduling determines the economics of a job, the quality of the team, and the skill-building and motivation of professionals doing the work. Therefore, it is essential to have optimized staff schedules to meet the requirements of staff availability, tasks coverage, shift equity and staff preferences. Though staff scheduling is of such prime importance, it is mostly implemented in traditional ways of manually creating spreadsheets and web calendars proving to be laborious and often leaving room for errors. Additionally, staff preferences are arbitrarily handled through this format which results in overstaffing /understaffing of resources. Our project is aimed at developing an optimization model of staff scheduling for the PSU library using linear programming and create a tool with open solver that reduces the surplus working hours of the staff in the library while maximizing the staff preferences. We expect our model to achieve better efficiency and flexibility than the traditional format of scheduling implemented by the library. Also, our model could have broader capabilities of implementation in different departments of the Portland State University.

Persistent Identifier