School timetabling optimisation using artificial bee colony algorithm based on a virtual searching space method
journal contributionposted on 2022-09-20, 23:16 authored by Kaixiang ZhuKaixiang Zhu, Dujuan LiDujuan Li, Minmei LiMinmei Li
Although educational timetabling problems have been studied for decades, one instance of this, the school timetabling problem (STP), has not developed as quickly as examination timetabling and course timetabling problems due to its diversity and complexity. In addition, most STP research has only focused on the educators’ availabilities when studying the educator aspect, and the educators’ preferences and expertise have not been taken into consideration. To fill in this gap, this paper proposes a conceptual model for the school timetabling problem considering educators’ availabilities, preferences and expertise as a whole. Based on a common real-world school timetabling scenario, the artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm is adapted to this study, as research shows its applicability in solving examination and course timetabling problems. A virtual search space for dealing with the large search space is introduced to the proposed model. The proposed approach is simulated with a large, randomly generated dataset. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed approach is able to solve the STP and handle a large dataset in an ordinary computing hardware environment, which significantly reduces computational costs. Compared to the traditional constraint programming method, the proposed approach is more effective and can provide more satisfactory solutions by considering educators’ availabilities, preferences, and expertise levels.
Number of Pages19
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