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Annals of Operations Research

, Volume 194, Issue 1, pp 203–221 | Cite as

An improved multi-staged algorithmic process for the solution of the examination timetabling problem

  • Christos GogosEmail author
  • Panayiotis Alefragis
  • Efthymios Housos
Article

Abstract

The efficient creation of examination timetables is a recurring and important problem for universities worldwide. Good timetables typically are characterized by balanced distances between consecutive exams for all students. In this contribution an approach for the examination timetabling problem as defined in the second International Timetabling Competition (http://www.cs.qub.ac.uk/itc2007/) is presented. The solution approach is managed on the top level by GRASP (Greedy Randomized Adaptive Search Procedure) and it involves several optimization algorithms, heuristics and metaheuristics. A construction phase is executed first producing a relatively high quality feasible solution and an improvement phase follows that further ameliorates the produced timetable. Each phase consists of stages that are consumed in a circular fashion. The procedure produces feasible solutions for each dataset provided under the runtime limit imposed by the rules of the ITC07 competition. Results are presented and analyzed.

Keywords

Metaheuristics GRASP Simulated annealing Kempe chains Integer programming 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christos Gogos
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Panayiotis Alefragis
    • 1
    • 3
  • Efthymios Housos
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of PatrasRio PatrasGreece
  2. 2.Dept. of Finance and AuditingTechnological Educational Institute of EpirusPrevezaGreece
  3. 3.Dept. of Telecommunication Systems and NetworksTechnological Educational Institute of MesolonghiNafpaktosGreece

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