A variable neighborhood search algorithm for the surgery tactical planning problem

N.P. Dellaert, J. Jeunet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
140 Downloads (Pure)


We address the tactical planning problem of surgeries that consists in building an admission plan of patients over a medium-term horizon planning so as to minimize over and under utilization of several resources such as operating theaters, beds and nursing care, compared with their target level of utilization. The problem is formulated as a mixed integer linear program for which exact solution methods fail to find an optimal solution in a reasonable execution time. We develop a Variable Neighborhood Search algorithm and show its ability to provide high quality solutions in short computational running times compared with CPLEX for numerous real-sized instances based on the surgery planning problem in a Dutch cardiothoracic center. Furthermore, with few parameters' settings and low computational memory requirements, this approach may easily be implemented in a decision support system for hospitals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216–225
Number of pages10
JournalComputers & Operations Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Hospital capacity planning
  • Master surgery schedule problem
  • Multiple resources
  • Variable neighborhood search


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