Template-Type: ReDIF-Paper 1.0 Series: Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers Creation-Date: 2010-01-28 Number: 10-013/4 Author-Name: Sandjai Bhulai Author-Workplace-Name: VU University Amsterdam Author-Name: Taoying Farenhorst-Yuan Author-Workplace-Name: VU University Amsterdam Author-Name: Bernd Heidergott Author-Workplace-Name: VU University Amsterdam Author-Name: Dinard van der Laan Author-Workplace-Name: VU University Amsterdam Title: Optimal Balanced Control for Call Centers Abstract: This discussion paper led to a publication in 'Annals op Operations Research', 2012, 201(1), 39-62.
In this paper we study a challenging call center operation problem. The goal of our analysis is to identify an optimal policy for allocating tasks to agents. As a first step, we discuss promising randomized policies and use stochastic approximation for finding the optimal randomized policy when implemented via a Bernoulli scheme. As we will show in this paper, the performance of the call center can be improved if the randomized policy is implemented by a deterministic sequence satisfying some regularity conditions. Such sequences are called balanced and we will show that implementing randomized policies by balanced sequences provide an additional step in optimization and control. This motivates our new approach where we avoid the intermediate step of first finding an optimal randomized control and directly find the optimal balanced sequence for control of the call center via stochastic approximation. Classification-JEL: C61, C63 Keywords: Call Center, Measure-Valued Differentiation, Balanced Sequence, Optimization File-Url: http://papers.tinbergen.nl/10013.pdf File-Format: application/pdf File-Size: 3141662 bytes Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20100013