Advanced SearchSearch Tips
The Effect of Worker Heterogeneity in Learning and Forgetting on System Productivity
facebook(new window)  Pirnt(new window) E-mail(new window) Excel Download
 Title & Authors
The Effect of Worker Heterogeneity in Learning and Forgetting on System Productivity
Kim, Sungsu;
  PDF(new window)
Incorporation of individual learning and forgetting behaviors within worker-task assignment models produces a mixed integer nonlinear program (MINLP) problem, which is difficult to solve as a NP hard due to its nonlinearity in the objective function. Previous studies commonly assume homogeneity among workers in workforce scheduling that takes account of learning and forgetting characteristics. This paper expands previous researches by considering heterogeneous individual learning/forgetting, and investigates the impact of worker heterogeneity in initial expertise, steady-state productivity, learning and forgetting on system performance to assist manager's decision-making in worker-task assignments without tackling complex MINLP models. In order to understand the performance implications of workforce heterogeneity, this paper examines analytically how heterogeneity in each of the four parameters of the exponential learning and forgetting (L/F) model affects system performance in three cases : consecutive assignments with no break, n breaks of s-length each, and total b break-periods occurred over T periods. The study presents the direction of change in worker performance under different assignment schedules as the variance in initial expertise, steady-state productivity, learning or forgetting increases. Thus, it implies whether having more heterogenous workforce in terms of each of four parameters in the L/F model is desired or not in different schedules from the perspective of system productivity measurement.
Decision-Making;Worker Heterogeneity;Learning;Forgetting;Productivity;Multi-Skilled Worker;Flexibility;
 Cited by
Buzacott, J.A., "The impact of worker differences in production system output," International Journal of Production Economics, Vol.78(2002), pp.37-44. crossref(new window)

Cochran, E.B., "New concepts of the learning curve," The Journal of Industrial Engineering, Vol.11(1960), pp.317-327.

Conway, R.W. and A. Schultz, "The manufacturing progress function," The Journal of Industrial Engineering, Vol.10(1959), pp.39-54.

Dar-El, E.M., Human learning : From learning curves to learning organizations, Boston, MA : Kluwer, 2000.

Ebeling, A.C. and C.Y. Lee, "Cross-training effectiveness and profitability," International Journal of Production Research, Vol.32, No. 12(1994), pp.2843-2859. crossref(new window)

Gerwin, D., "Manufacturing flexibility : A strategic perspective," Management Science, Vol.39, No.4(1993), pp.395-410. crossref(new window)

Globerson, S. and N. Levin, "Incorporating forgetting into learning curves," International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Vol.7, No.4(1987), pp.80-94. crossref(new window)

Kim, S. and D.A. Nembhard, "Cross-trained staffing levels with heterogeneous learning/forgetting," IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Vol.57, No.4(2010), pp.560-574. crossref(new window)

Kim, S. and D.A. Nembhard, "Rule mining for scheduling cross training with a heterogeneous workforce," International Journal of Production Research, Vol.51, No.8(2013), pp.2281-2300. crossref(new window)

Mazur, J.E. and R. Hastie, "Learning as accumulation : A reexamination of the learning curve," Psychological Bulletin, Vol.85, No.6 (1978), pp.1256-1274. crossref(new window)

Molleman, E. and J. Slomp, "Functional flexibility and team performance," International Journal of Production Research, Vol.37(1999), pp.1837-1858. crossref(new window)

Neidigh, R.O. and T.P. Harrison, "Optimizing lot sizing with nonlinear production rates in a multi-product single-machine environment," International Journal of Production Research, Vol.51, No.12(2013), pp.3561-3573. crossref(new window)

Nembhard, D.A., "The effects of task complexity and experience on learning and forgetting : A Field Study," Human Factors, Vol.42, No.2(2000), pp.272-286. crossref(new window)

Nembhard, D.A. and B.A. Norman, "Cross training in production systems with human learning and forgetting," Workforce Crosstraining, CRC Press, Florida, (2007), pp.111-129.

Nembhard, D.A. and N. Osothsilp, "An empirical comparison of forgetting models," IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Vol.48, No.3(2001), pp.283-291. crossref(new window)

Nembhard, D.A. and N. Osothsilp, "Learning and forgetting-based worker selection for tasks of varying complexity," The Journal of Operational Research Society, Vol.56, No.5 (2005), pp.576-587. crossref(new window)

Nembhard, D.A. and S.M. Shafer, "The effects of workforce heterogeneity on productivity in an experiential learning environment," International Journal of Production Research, Vol.46, No.14(2008), pp.3909-3929. crossref(new window)

Nembhard, D.A. and M.V. Uzumeri, "Experiential learning and forgetting for manual and cognitive tasks," International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Vol.25(2000), pp.315-326. crossref(new window)

Shafer, S.M., D.A. Nembhard, and M.V. Uzumeri, "The effects of worker learning, forgetting, and heterogeneity on assembly line productivity," Management Science, Vol.47, No.12(2001), pp.1639-1653. crossref(new window)

Teyarachakul, S., S. Chand, and J. Ward, "Effect of learning and forgetting on batch sizes," Production and Operations Management, Vol.20, No.1(2011), pp.116-128. crossref(new window)

Thomas, B.G. and D.A. Nembhard, "Preference based Search approach for scheduling workers with learning and forgetting," MSOM sponsored session, INFORMS National Meeting, Denver, October 2004.

Venezia, I., "On the statistical origins of the learning curve," European Journal of Operations Research, Vol.19(1985), pp.191-200. crossref(new window)

Volpe, C., J.A. Cannon-Bowers, E. Salas, and P.E. Spector, "The impact of cross-training on team functioning : An empirical investigation," Human Factors, Vol.38(1996), pp.87-100. crossref(new window)

Yelle, L.E., "The learning curve : Historical review and comprehensive survey," Decision Science, Vol.10, No.2(1979), pp.302-328. crossref(new window)