A Mahalanobis Distance-based Diversification and Nelder-Mead Simplex Intensification Search Scheme for Continuous Ant Colony Optimization
Ant colony optimization (ACO) and its variants are
applied extensively to resolve various continuous optimization
problems. As per the various diversification and intensification
schemes of ACO for continuous function optimization, researchers
generally consider components of multidimensional state space to
generate the new search point(s). However, diversifying to a new
search space by updating only components of the multidimensional
vector may not ensure that the new point is at a significant distance
from the current solution. If a minimum distance is not ensured
during diversification, then there is always a possibility that the
search will end up with reaching only local optimum. Therefore, to
overcome such situations, a Mahalanobis distance-based
diversification with Nelder-Mead simplex-based search scheme for
each ant is proposed for the ACO strategy. A comparative
computational run results, based on nine nonlinear standard test
problems, confirms that the performance of ACO is improved
significantly with the integration of the proposed schemes in the
Ant Colony Optimization, Diversification Scheme,Intensification, Mahalanobis Distance, Nelder-Mead Simplex.
Impact of Flexibility on Patient Satisfaction and Behavioral Intention: A Critical Reassessment and Model Development
In the anticipation of demand fluctuations, services cannot be inventoried and hence it creates a difficult problem in marketing of services. The inability to meet customers (patients) requirements in healthcare context has more serious consequences than other service sectors. In order to meet patient requirements in the current uncertain environment, healthcare organizations are seeking ways for improved service delivery. Flexibility provides a mechanism for reducing variability in service encounters and improved performance. Flexibility is defined as the ability of the organization to cope with changing circumstances or instability caused by the environment. Patient satisfaction is an important performance outcome of healthcare organizations. However, the paucity of information exists in healthcare delivery context to examine the impact of flexibility on patient satisfaction and behavioral intention. The present study is an attempt to develop a conceptual foundation for investigating overall impact of flexibility on patient satisfaction and behavioral intention. Several dimensions of flexibility in healthcare context are examined and proposed to have a significant impact on patient satisfaction and intention. Furthermore, the study involves a critical examination of determinants of patient satisfaction and development of a comprehensive view the relationship between flexibility, patient satisfaction and behavioral intention. Finally, theoretical contributions and implications for healthcare professionals are suggested from flexibility perspective.
Healthcare, flexibility, patient satisfaction, behavioral intention.