A graph coloring constructive hyper-heuristic for examination timetabling problems

Nasser R. Sabar, Masri Ayob, Rong Qu, Graham Kendall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this work we investigate a new graph coloring constructive hyper-heuristic for solving examination timetabling problems. We utilize the hierarchical hybridizations of four low level graph coloring heuristics, these being largest degree, saturation degree, largest colored degree and largest enrollment. These are hybridized to produce four ordered lists. For each list, the difficulty index of scheduling the first exam is calculated by considering its order in all lists to obtain a combined evaluation of its difficulty. The most difficult exam to be scheduled is scheduled first (i.e. the one with the minimum difficulty index). To improve the effectiveness of timeslot selection, a roulette wheel selection mechanism is included in the algorithm to probabilistically select an appropriate timeslot for the chosen exam. We test our proposed approach on the most widely used un-capacitated Carter benchmarks and also on the recently introduced examination timetable dataset from the 2007 International Timetabling Competition. Compared against other methodologies, our results demonstrate that the graph coloring constructive hyper-heuristic produces good results and outperforms other approaches on some of the benchmark instances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Intelligence
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

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Coloring
Wheels
Scheduling

Keywords

  • Examination timetabling
  • Graph coloring
  • Hybridization
  • Hyper-heuristics
  • Roulette wheel selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence

Cite this

A graph coloring constructive hyper-heuristic for examination timetabling problems. / Sabar, Nasser R.; Ayob, Masri; Qu, Rong; Kendall, Graham.

In: Applied Intelligence, Vol. 37, No. 1, 07.2012, p. 1-11.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sabar, Nasser R. ; Ayob, Masri ; Qu, Rong ; Kendall, Graham. / A graph coloring constructive hyper-heuristic for examination timetabling problems. In: Applied Intelligence. 2012 ; Vol. 37, No. 1. pp. 1-11.
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