A tabu search heuristic for the dynamic transportation of patients between care units
European Journal of Operational Research
Kergosien, Y. L., Ch; Piton, D.; Billaut, J. C. (2011). A tabu search heuristic for the dynamic transportation of patients between care units. [Journal Article]. European Journal of Operational Research, 214(2), 442-452. doi: 10.1016/j.ejor.2011.04.033
The problem studied in this paper stems from a real application to the transportation of patients in the Hospital Complex of Tours (France). The ambulance central station of the Hospital Complex has to plan the transportation demands between care units which require a vehicle. Some demands are known in advance and the others arise dynamically. Each demand requires a specific type of vehicle and a vehicle can transport only one person at a time. The demands can be subcontracted to a private company which implies high cost. Moreover, transportations are subject to particular constraints, among them priority of urgent demands, disinfection of a vehicle after the transportation of a patient with contagious disease and respect of the type of vehicle needed. These characteristics involve a distinction between the vehicles and the crews during the modeling phase. We propose a modeling for solving this difficult problem and a tabu search algorithm inspired by Gendreau et al. (1999). This method supports an adaptive memory and a tabu search procedure. Computational experiments on a real-life instance and on randomly generated instances show that the method can provide high-quality solutions for this dynamic problem with a short computation time.