Annals of Operations Research

, Volume 239, Issue 1, pp 153–170 | Cite as

Real-life curriculum-based timetabling with elective courses and course sections

Article

Abstract

This paper presents an innovative approach to curriculum-based timetabling. To capture complex relations of real life curriculum-based timetabling problems, curricula are defined by a rich model that includes optional courses and course groups among which students are expected to take a subset of courses. In addition, courses may contain alternative course sections. A transformation between the proposed curriculum model and student course enrollments is formalized and a local search algorithm generating corresponding enrollments is introduced. While the proposed curriculum model is too complicated for existing curriculum-based solvers, the transformation enables curriculum-based timetabling in any existing enrollment-based course timetabling solver. The approach was implemented in a well established enrollment-based course timetabling system UniTime. The system has been successfully applied in practice at the Faculty of Education at Masaryk University for about 7,500 students and 260 curricula and at the Faculty of Sports Studies at Masaryk University for about 1,400 students and 25 curricula. Experimental results related with these problems are demonstrated for two semesters.

Keywords

Course timetabling Curriculum-based timetabling Local search UniTime 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Keith Murray for careful proofreading of this paper and for his valuable comments. This work is supported by the Grant Agency of Czech Republic under the contract P202\(/\)12\(/\)0306. The access to the MetaCentrum computing facilities provided under the program “Projects of Large Infrastructure for Research, Development, and Innovations” LM2010005 funded by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic is highly appreciated.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Space Management and Academic SchedulingPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of InformaticsMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

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