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Annals of Operations Research

, Volume 194, Issue 1, pp 255–272 | Cite as

Curriculum based course timetabling: new solutions to Udine benchmark instances

  • Gerald LachEmail author
  • Marco E. Lübbecke
Article

Abstract

We present an integer programming approach to the university course timetabling problem, in which weekly lectures have to be scheduled and assigned to rooms. Students’ curricula impose restrictions as to which courses may not be scheduled in parallel. Besides some hard constraints (no two courses in the same room at the same time, etc.), there are several soft constraints in practice which give a convenient structure to timetables; these should be met as well as possible.

We report on solving benchmark instances from the literature and the 2nd International Timetabling Competition which are based on real data from the university of Udine. The first set is solved to proven optimality; for the second set we give solutions which on average compete well with or beat the previously best known solutions. Our algorithm is not an overall winner, but it is very robust in the sense that it deterministically gives satisfactory lower and upper bounds in reasonable computation time without particular tuning. For slightly larger instances from the literature our approach shows significant potential as it considerably beats previous benchmarks. We further present solutions of proven quality to a few much larger instances with more elaborate hard constraints.

Keywords

Integer programming Decomposition University course timetabling 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für MathematikTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Fachbereich Mathematik, AG OptimierungTechnische Universität DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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