Journal of Applied Mathematics and Decision Sciences
Volume 6 (2002), Issue 3, Pages 191-199

Optimum workforce scheduling under the (14, 21) days-off timetable

Hesham K. Alfares

System Engineering Department, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, P.O. Box 5067, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia

Copyright © 2002 Hesham K. Alfares. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An efficient optimum solution is presented for a real-life employee day-soff scheduling problem with a three-week cycle. Over a given work cycle, each worker is given 14 successive workdays and 7 successive off days. This three-week days-off timetable is referred to as the (14, 21) schedule. Given different labor demands for each day of the week, the primary objective is to minimize the number of workers. The secondary objective is to reduce transportation cost by minimizing the number of active days-off patterns. The solution technique utilizes the dual LP solution to determine the minimum number of workers and feasible days-off assignments, without using linear or integer programming. The simple solution technique eliminates the need to use integer programming for this particular scheduling problem.