A decision support system for crew planning in passenger transportation using a flexible branch-and-price algorithm
This paper discusses a decision support system for airline and railway crew planning. The system is a state-of-the-art branch-and-price solver that is used for crew scheduling and crew rostering. We briefly discuss the mathematical background of the solver, of which most part is covered in the Operations Research literature. Crew scheduling is crew planning for one or a few days that results in crew duties or pairings, and crew rostering is crew planning for at least one week for individual crew members. Technical issues about the system and its implementation are covered in more detail, as well as several applications. In particular, we focus on a specific aircrew rostering application. The computational results contain an interesting comparison of results obtained with, on one hand, the approach in which crew scheduling is carried out before crew rostering, and, on the other hand, an approach in which these two planning problems are solved in an integrated manner.