Chapter 1. Overview of the employee rostering starter application

The employee rostering starter application assigns employees to shifts on various positions in an organization. For example, you can use the application to distribute shifts in a hospital between nurses, guard duty shifts across a number of locations, or shifts on an assembly line between workers.

Optimal employee rostering must take a number of variables into account. For example, different skills can be required for shifts in different positions. Also, some employees might be unavailable for some time slots or might prefer a particular time slot. Moreover, an employee can have a contract that limits the number of hours that the employee can work in a single time period.

The Red Hat Business Optimizer rules for this starter application use both hard and soft constraints. During an optimization, the planning engine may not violate hard constraints, for example, if an employee is unavailable (out sick), or that an employee cannot work two spots in a single shift. The planning engine tries to adhere to soft constraints, such as an employee’s preference to not work a specific shift, but can violate them if the optimal solution requires it.