Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Ahmadi, Majid

Second Advisor

Baki, Fazle


Operating Room, Operations Research, Planning and Scheduling, Robust Optimization, Stochastic Optimization, Uncertainty




Arrangement of surgical activities can be classified as a three-level process that directly impacts the overall performance of a healthcare system. The goal of this dissertation is to study hierarchical planning and scheduling problems of operating room (OR) departments that arise in a publicly funded hospital. Uncertainty in surgery durations and patient arrivals, the existence of multiple resources and competing performance measures are among the important aspect of OR problems in practice. While planning can be viewed as the compromise of supply and demand within the strategic and tactical stages, scheduling is referred to the development of a detailed timetable that determines operational daily assignment of individual cases. Therefore, it is worthwhile to put effort in optimization of OR planning and surgical scheduling. We have considered several extensions of previous models and described several real-world applications. Firstly, we have developed a novel transformation framework for the robust optimization (RO) method to be used as a generalized approach to overcome the drawback of conventional RO approach owing to its difficulty in obtaining information regarding numerous control variable terms as well as added extra variables and constraints into the model in transforming deterministic models into the robust form. We have determined an optimal case mix planning for a given set of specialties for a single operating room department using the proposed standard RO framework. In this case-mix planning problem, demands for elective and emergency surgery are considered to be random variables realized over a set of probabilistic scenarios. A deterministic and a two-stage stochastic recourse programming model is also developed for the uncertain surgery case mix planning to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed RO models. The objective is to minimize the expected total loss incurred due to postponed and unmet demand as well as the underutilization costs. We have shown that the optimum solution can be found in polynomial time. Secondly, the tactical and operational level decision of OR block scheduling and advance scheduling problems are considered simultaneously to overcome the drawback of current literature in addressing these problems in isolation. We have focused on a hybrid master surgery scheduling (MSS) and surgical case assignment (SCA) problem under the assumption that both surgery durations and emergency arrivals follow probability distributions defined over a discrete set of scenarios. We have developed an integrated robust MSS and SCA model using the proposed standard transformation framework and determined the allocation of surgical specialties to the ORs as well as the assignment of surgeries within each specialty to the corresponding ORs in a coordinated way to minimize the costs associated with patients waiting time and hospital resource utilization. To demonstrate the usefulness and applicability of the two proposed models, a simulation study is carried utilizing data provided by Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH). The simulation results demonstrate that the two proposed models can mitigate the existing variability in parameter uncertainty. This provides a more reliable decision tool for the OR managers while limiting the negative impact of waiting time to the patients as well as welfare loss to the hospital.