Annals of Operations Research

, Volume 194, Issue 1, pp 59–70 | Cite as

Benchmarking curriculum-based course timetabling: formulations, data formats, instances, validation, visualization, and results

  • Alex Bonutti
  • Fabio De Cesco
  • Luca Di Gaspero
  • Andrea Schaerf
Article

Abstract

We propose a set of formulations for the Curriculum-Based Course Timetabling problem, with the aim of “capturing” many real-world formulations, and thus encouraging researchers to “reduce” their specific problems to one of them, gaining the opportunity to compare and assess their results. This work is accompanied by a web application that maintains all the necessary infrastructures for benchmarking: validators, data formats, instances, reference scores, lower bounds, solutions, and visualizers. All instances proposed here are based on real data from various universities and they represent a variety of possible situations.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Avella, P., & Vasil’ev, I. (2005). A computational study of a cutting plane algorithm for university course timetabling. Journal of Scheduling, 8, 497–514. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Burke, E., & Newall, J. (1999). A multi-stage evolutionary algorithm for the timetable problem. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, 3(1), 63–74. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Burke, E., Pepper, P., & Kingston, J. (1997). A standard data format for timetabling instances. In E. Burke, & M. Carter (Eds.), Lecture notes in computer science : Vol. 1408. Proc. of the 2nd int. conf. on the practice and theory of automated timetabling (PATAT-97), selected papers (pp. 213–222). Berlin: Springer. Google Scholar
  4. Burke, E. K., Mareček, J., Parkes, A. J., & Rudová, H. (2007). On a clique-based integer programming formulation of vertex colouring with applications in course timetabling (Technical Report NOTTCS-TR-2007-10). The University of Nottingham, Nottingham. Google Scholar
  5. Burke, E. K., Mareček, J., Parkes, A. J., & Rudová, H. (2008). Penalising patterns in timetables: Novel integer programming formulations. In S. Nickel, & J. Kalcsics (Eds.), Operations Research Proceedings. Operations Research Proceedings 2007. Berlin: Springer. Google Scholar
  6. Carter, M. W. (2005). Carter’s test data. URL: ftp://ftp.mie.utoronto.ca/pub/carter/testprob/. Viewed: July 7, 2009, Updated: June 7, 2005.
  7. Carter, M. W., Laporte, G., & Lee, S. Y. (1996). Examination timetabling: Algorithmic strategies and applications. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 74, 373–383. Google Scholar
  8. Casey, S., & Thompson, J. (2003). Grasping the examination scheduling problem. In E. Burke, & P. De Causmaecker (Eds.), Lecture notes in computer science : Vol. 2740. Proc. of the 4th int. conf. on the practice and theory of automated timetabling (PATAT-2002), selected papers (pp. 232–244). Berlin: Springer. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Daskalaki, S., Birbas, T., & Housos, E. (2004). An integer programming formulation for a case study in university timetabling. European Journal of Operational Research, 153, 117–135. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Di Gaspero, L., & Schaerf, A. (2001). Tabu search techniques for examination timetabling. In E. Burke, & W. Erben (Eds.), Lecture notes in computer science : Vol. 2079. Proc. of the 3rd int. conf. on the practice and theory of automated timetabling (PATAT-2000), selected papers (pp. 104–117). Berlin: Springer. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Di Gaspero, L., & Schaerf, A. (2003). Multi-neighbourhood local search with application to course timetabling. In E. Burke, & P. De Causmaecker (Eds.), Lecture notes in computer science : Vol. 2740. Proc. of the 4th int. conf. on the practice and theory of automated timetabling (PATAT-2002), selected papers (pp. 262–275). Berlin: Springer. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Di Gaspero, L., & Schaerf, A. (2006). Neighborhood portfolio approach for local search applied to timetabling problems. Journal of Mathematical Modeling and Algorithms, 5(1), 65–89. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Di Gaspero, L., McCollum, B., & Schaerf, A. (2007). The second international timetabling competition (ITC-2007): Curriculum-based course timetabling (track 3) (Technical Report QUB/IEEE/Tech/ITC2007/CurriculumCTT/v1.0/1). School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Queens University, Belfast (UK), August 2007. ITC-2007 site: http://www.cs.qub.ac.uk/itc2007/.
  14. Johnson, D. S. (2002). A theoretician’s guide to the experimental analysis of algorithms. In M. H. Goldwasser, D. S. Johnson, & C. C. McGeoch (Eds.), Data structures, near neighbor searches, and methodology: fifth and sixth DIMACS implementation challenges (pp. 215–250). Providence: Am. Math. Soc.. Available from http://www.research.att.com/~dsj/papers.html. Google Scholar
  15. Kingston, J. H. (2001). Modelling timetabling problems with STTL. In E. Burke, & W. Erben (Eds.), Lecture notes in computer science : Vol. 2079. Proc. of the 3rd int. conf. on the practice and theory of automated timetabling (PATAT-2000), selected papers (pp. 309–321). Berlin: Springer. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. McCollum, B. (2007). A perspective on bridging the gap in university timetabling. In E. Burke, & H. Rudová (Eds.), Lecture notes in computer science : Vol. 3867. Proc. of the 6th int. conf. on the practice and theory of automated timetabling (PATAT-2006), selected papers (pp. 3–23). Berlin: Springer. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. McCollum, B., McMullan, P., Burke, E. K., Parkes, A. J., & Qu, R. (2007). The second international timetabling competition: Examination timetabling track (Technical Report QUB/IEEE/Tech/ITC2007/Exam/v4.0/17). Queens University, Belfast (UK), September 2007. Google Scholar
  18. McCollum, B., Schaerf, A., Paechter, B., McMullan, P., Lewis, R., Parkes, A. J., Di Gaspero, L., Qu, R., & Burke, E. K. (2010). Setting the research agenda in automated timetabling: The second international timetabling competition. INFORMS Journal on Computing, 22(1) Google Scholar
  19. Merlot, L. (2005). Public exam timetabling data sets. URL: http://www.or.ms.unimelb.edu.au/timetabling. Viewed: July 7, 2009, Updated: October 13, 2003.
  20. Müller, T., & Murray, K. (2008). University course timetabling & student scheduling. URL: http://www.unitime.org. Viewed: July 7, 2009, Updated: August 8, 2008.
  21. Murray, K. S., Müller, T., & Rudová, H. (2007). Modeling and solution of a complex university course timetabling problem. In Proc. of the 6th int. conf. on the practice and theory of automated timetabling (PATAT-2006), selected papers, pp. 189–209. Google Scholar
  22. Nurmi, K., & Kyngäs, J. (2008). A conversion scheme for turning curriculum-based timetabling problem into school timetabling problem. In E. Burke & M. Gendreau (Eds.), Proc. of the 7th int. conf. on the practice and theory of automated timetabling (PATAT-2008). Google Scholar
  23. Özcan, E. (2005). Towards an XML-based standard for timetabling problems: TTML. In G. Kendall, E. Burke, S. Petrovic, & M. Gendreau (Eds.), Proc. of the 1st multidisciplinary international conference on scheduling: theory and applications (MISTA-03), selected papers (pp. 163–185). Berlin: Springer. Google Scholar
  24. Qu, R. (2006). The exam timetabling site. URL: http://www.cs.nott.ac.uk/~rxq/ETTP.htm. Viewed: March 13, 2007, Updated: July 8, 2006.
  25. Qu, R., Burke, E., McCollum, B., Merlot, L., & Lee, S. Y. (2009). A survey of search methodologies and automated system development for examination timetabling. Journal of Scheduling, 12(1), 55–89. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Schaerf, A. (1999). A survey of automated timetabling. Artificial Intelligence Review, 13(2), 87–127. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schaerf, A., & Di Gaspero, L. (2007). Measurability and reproducibility in timetabling research: Discussion and proposals. In E. Burke, & H. Rudová (Eds.), Lecture notes in computer science : Vol. 3867. Proc. of the 6th int. conf. on the practice and theory of automated timetabling (PATAT-2006), selected papers (pp. 40–49). Berlin: Springer. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex Bonutti
    • 1
  • Fabio De Cesco
    • 2
  • Luca Di Gaspero
    • 1
  • Andrea Schaerf
    • 1
  1. 1.DIEGMUniversity of UdineUdineItaly
  2. 2.UdineItaly

Personalised recommendations