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Solving department's course-scheduling Problem using differential evolution

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2 Author(s)
Salman, A.A. ; Coll. of Eng., Comput. Eng. Dept., Kuwait Univ., Safat, Kuwait ; Hamdan, S.A.

Department's course scheduling problem involves assigning courses, timeslots, and rooms to faculty members. However, due to the large number of constraints that must be handled, searching for an optimal solution for course scheduling problem is considered to be a complex and a time-consuming task. Methods used nowadays in many educational institutes depend on a manual process that is performed by one or more experienced personals in course scheduling. These methods are most likely to be ??greedy?? in their approach so as they resolve a portion, not all of the problem's constraints. Such methods take in general from several hours to weeks of negotiation and bargaining to resolve one or more constraints. This paper presents the first attempt (to the authors' best knowledge) in using DE algorithm to solve the course scheduling problem. A case study is taken from the Computer Engineering (CPE) department at the college of Engineering and Petroleum in Kuwait University (KU). A wide set of practical constraints is taken into consideration. Moreover, the desired solution is compared to ad-hoc manual optimization, semi-randomized optimization and to hybrid algorithm, to show that not only the execution time is reduced dramatically but also that the proposed method can improve the quality of solutions.

Published in:

Methods and Models in Computer Science, 2009. ICM2CS 2009. Proceeding of International Conference on

Date of Conference:

14-15 Dec. 2009