Schedule - A Program that Uses Instructor and Student Preferences to Form Timetables
Timmreck, Eric M.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Computer Sciences
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A computer program which forms timetables from instructors' choices of times and students' choices of courses has been used by the Computer Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin. Instructors are asked to choose up to four very highly acceptable times, up to four highly acceptable times, and up to four other acceptable times. These time periods are chosen in pairs, triples, etc., if the instructor is teaching two, three, etc., courses. Each student is asked to list the courses he expects to take and a corresponding probability or weight for each. A hill-climbing algorithm uses an evaluation function to move courses into various time periods, attempting to give each instructor as high a preference as possible while at the same time trying to avoid having any pair of any student's courses fall within the same time period. Results to date have been quite satisfactory.