Document Type

Working Paper

Date

1997

Embargo Period

8-2012

Keywords

annealing, academic class scheduling, timetabling problems, cost function

Language

English

Disciplines

Computer Sciences

Description/Abstract

In this study we have tackled the NP-hard problem of academic class scheduling (or timetabling) at the university level. We have investigated a variety of approaches based on simulated annealing, including mean-field annealing, simulated annealing with three different cooling schedules, and the use of a rule-based preprocessor to provide a good initial solution for annealing. The best results were obtained using simulated annealing with adaptive cooling and reheating as a function of cost, and a rule-based preprocessor. This approach enabled us to obtain valid schedules for the timetabling problem for a large university, using a complex cost function that includes student preferences. None of the other methods were able to provide a complete valid schedule.

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