Timetabling problems at the TU Eindhoven

J.J.J. Broek, van den, C.A.J. Hurkens, G.J. Woeginger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The students of the Department of Industrial Design at the TU Eindhoven are allowed to design part of their curriculum by selecting courses from a huge course pool. They do this by handing in ordered preference lists with their favorite courses for the forthcoming time period. Based on this information (and on many other constraints), the department then assigns courses to students. Until recently, the assignment was computed by human schedulers who used a quite straightforward greedy approach. In 2005, however, the number of students increased substantially, and as a consequence the greedy approach did not yield acceptable results anymore. This paper discusses the solution of this real-world timetabling problem. We present a complete mathematical formulation and explain all the constraints resulting from the situation in Eindhoven. We solve the problem using lexicographical optimization with four subproblems. For all four subproblems, an elegant integer linear programming model is given which easily can be put into CPLEX. Finally, we report on our computational experiments and results around the Eindhoven real-world data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-885
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Volume196
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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