Scheduling the English Football League with a Multi-objective Evolutionary Algorithm
We describe a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm that derives schedules for the English Football League over the busy New Year period according to seven objectives. The two principal objectives are to minimise travel distances for teams and supporters, and to minimise so-called “pair clashes” where teams which are geographically close play at home simultaneously, which can cause problems for police, and other logistical issues. The other five objectives implement various problem constraints. The schedules derived are often superior both to those used in the relevant years, and to those previously published in the literature, especially for the harder problem instances. In addition, the system returns a set of schedules offering different trade-offs between the main objectives, any of which might be of interest to the authorities.
KeywordsSports scheduling Multi-objective evolutionary algorithms
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