Computing at Glasgow University
Paper ID: 8488
DCS Tech Report Number: TR-2007-236

A Constraint Programming Approach to the Hospitals / Residents Problem
Manlove,D.F. O'Malley,G. Prosser,P. Unsworth,C.

Publication Type: Tech Report (internal)
Appeared in: DCS Technical Report Series
Page Numbers :
Publisher: Dept of Computing Science, University of Glasgow
Year: 2007

An instance I of the Hospitals / Residents problem (HR) involves a set of residents (graduating medical students) and a set of hospitals, where each hospital has a given capacity. The residents have preferences for the hospitals, as do hospitals for residents. A solution of I is a stable matching, which is an assignment of residents to hospitals that respects the capacity conditions and preference lists in a precise way. In this paper we present constraint encodings for HR that give rise to important structural properties. We also present a computational study using both randomly-generated and real-world instances. Our study suggests that Constraint Programming is indeed an applicable technology for solving this problem, in terms of both theory and practice.

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