The Homecare Healthcare Problem can be defined as the problem of routing and scheduling visits that formal caregiver to patients make to patients’ homes. Its formulation as a mixed integer linear programming model is based on the vehicle routing problem with time windows (VRPTW) which is very well known as a NP-hard problem. For some time now, we have been collaborating with a home care service provided (located in nearby Lisbon, Portugal) in the development of a tool that allows the automatic planning of caregivers’ routes, which currently is (still) done manually. The work developed until now has shown that although the instances may be considered (by the academia) as small to medium sized, the computational times need to solve the model with state-of-the-art solvers makes it impossible to be embedded into a tool to be used daily. Although the works has been focusing in the Portuguese realty, the increase demand of homecare services has been increasing in all Europe. It has been shown that “ageing-in-place”, where elderly and people with frailties are allowed to stay at their homes as community support is provided to them, presents not only economically but also socially benefits when compared to any kind of institutionalization (as hospital or residential homes). This project aims at development of meta-heuristic so as to obtain good quality solutions for the HHP in adequate computational times.
Team: Maria Isabel Gomes.