The challenge and complexity of the problem lies in the fact that institutions may need to satisfy a set of constraints that might be too diverse or even contradictory. There are a few constraints that cannot be violated at all (hard constraints), few constraints are non universal (soft constraints) and may or may not be followed by an institute and lastly, there may be constraints unique to a specific institute (Burke et al. 1995). Problem Statement Academic institutions all over the world are required to go through the tedious and time consuming task of producing examination timetables periodically. Therefore, a universal solution for the examination timetabling problem would have a substantial impact factor. Owing to the fact that different institutes require a solution satisfying different constraints, the problem of finding a generalized solution that caters all these differences could be rather challenging. Devising a universal model for examination timetable problem would require flexibility in terms of the specified constraints and commercial software cannot provide that. Aims and Objectives The aim of this project would be to suggest a universal framework model for the examination timetabling problem. A solution that ensures provision of flexibility in terms of constraint specifications shall be proposed. ...
Literature includes timetabling systems presented by Hansen and Vidal (1995), Colijn and Layfield (1995), Lim et al (2000) and Dimopoulou and Miliotis (2001). Various approaches have been suggested by researchers and universities to solve the examination timetabling problem. Some survey papers have been published over time listing the techniques that have been utilized in addressing the exam timetabling problems. These include the survey by Carter and Laporte (1996), Burke and Petrovic (2002), Schaerf (1999), Petrovic and Burke (2004) and Burke et al. (1997). Amongst the approaches include methods based on evolutionary algorithms (Cote 2005), clustering, graph based sequential methods, case based reasoning (Gaspero & Schaerf 2001), hyper heuristics (Burke et al. 2007), harmony search algorithms (Burke et. al 2004), tabu search (Gendreau & Potvin 2005), particle swarm algorithms (Gaspero & Shuref 2001), and simulated annealing (Chiarandini 2006) have been proposed for the examination timetabling problem. It has been observed that hybrid methods in general give better solutions that pure algorithms. However, efficient integration is required rather than sequentially integrating the different approaches (Que et al. 2006). For building timetabling systems, researchers have used some general constraint programming packages e.g. ECLiPse (Ajili & Wallace 2003). A few efforts have been seen in literature for standardizing the modelling language and data format (Kingston 2001; Ozcan 2003; Reis & Oliveira 2001) once the need for it was recognized (Burke et al. 1998). Methodology The project has both research and development phases, so time shall be divided accordingly. The framework model would have the server-client architecture and would comprise of ...
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72 Pages(18000 words)Dissertation
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