In most hospitals, operating rooms are the most costly facilities and consume a large percentage of the hospital recourses. Therefore, an efficient and effective operating room scheduling system is highly demanded for hospitals. In this paper, a SOMO-based approach to solving the operating room scheduling problem is proposed. Computational experiments performed on 100 randomly generated simulations are conducted to test whether the proposed scheduling algorithm can provide appealing arrangements in a reasonable computation time. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.