A methodology to create robust job rotation schedules

Wipawee Tharmmaphornphilas, Bryan A. Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This research proposes a methodology for developing robust job rotation schedules to reduce the likelihood of low back injury due to lifting. We consider settings that have uncertain task demands and different worker profiles in order to simulate real settings. We begin by considering deterministic versions of the problem and solve these using mathematical programming. Because mathematical programming cannot be readily applied to stochastic versions of the problem, heuristic solution methods are developed. The effectiveness of these methods is demonstrated by comparing the results with provably optimal solutions from the deterministic problems and with an enumerative approach that is applied to the stochastic version of the problem. Across the test problems, the proposed heuristics are effective at finding good job rotation solutions. The proposed methods could also be applied to solve other job rotation objectives such as maximizing productivity and reducing exposure to other work environmental factors such as excessive noise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-360
Number of pages22
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007


  • Heuristics
  • Job rotation
  • Scheduling


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