Presented by: 
Pierre L'Ecuyer, Universite de Montreal, Canada
Wed 13 Feb, 11:00 am - 11:45 am

Title: 'Call Routing Policies with Dynamic Priorities based on Wait and Idle Times in Call Centers'


Abstract: We study call routing policies for call centers with multiple call types and multiple agent groups. We propose new weight-based routing policies where each pair (call type, agent group) is given a matching priority defined as an affine combination of the longest waiting time for that call type and the longest idle time in that agent group. The coefficients in this combination are parameters to be optimized. This type of policy is more flexible than traditional rules found in practice, and it performs better in many situations. It also performs much better, in some situations, than generalized rules that have been proved asymptotically optimal in heavy traffic. We consider objective functions that account for the service levels, the abandonment ratios, the average waiting times and the fairness of occupancy across agent groups. We select the parameters of all considered policies via a simulation-based optimization heuristic. This only requires the availability of a simulation model of the call center, which can be much more detailed and realistic than the models used elsewhere in the literature to study the optimality of certain types of routing rules. We offer a first numerical study of realistic routing rules that takes into account the complexity of real-life call centers. This is joint work with Wyean Chan (Univ. de Montréal) and Ger Koole (VU Amsterdam).


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