Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 7 (2001), Issue 2, Pages 155-175

An optimal control approach to manpower planning problem

H. W. J. Lee,1 X. Q. Cai,2 and K. L. Teo1

1Department of Applied Mathematics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
2Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong

Received 2 August 2000; Revised 23 October 2000

Copyright © 2001 H. W. J. Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A manpower planning problem is studied in this paper. The model includes scheduling different types of workers over different tasks, employing and terminating different types of workers, and assigning different types of workers to various trainning programmes. The aim is to find an optimal way to do all these while keeping the time-varying demand for minimum number of workers working on each different tasks satisfied. The problem is posed as an optimal discrete-valued control problem in discrete time. A novel numerical scheme is proposed to solve the problem, and an illustrative example is provided.