Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Cataldo A., Ferrer J-C., Miranda J., Rey P.A. and Sauré A. (2017)

An integer programming approach to curriculum-based examination timetabling

Revista : Annals of Operations Research
Volumen : 258
Número : 2
Páginas : 369-393
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


The examination timetabling problem (ETTP) consists in the assignment of specific dates to the exams of a set of courses assuming that the course enrollments are known. This problem is also known as post-enrollment ETTP. In this paper, we describe and solve a variant of the ETTP which has two particularities: (1) it does not assume the course enrollments as known and uses the curriculum of the degree program to evaluate potential conflicts in the exam schedules, and (2) it considers the exams and classrooms of multiple degree programs simultaneously. We refer to this variant of the ETTP as curriculum-based examination timetabling problem (CB-ETTP), a problem faced by many universities worldwide, being the Universidad Diego Portales (UDP) in Santiago of Chile one of them. To the best of our knowledge, this problem has not been described as such in the ETTP literature. We propose an approach to solve the CB-ETTP consisting of four sequential stages. The first stage groups courses into clusters and generates classroom configurations called room patterns. The second stage assigns time slots and room patterns to course clusters. Then, the third stage assigns time slots and room patterns to individual courses. Finally, the fourth stage generates a definitive exam schedule assigning specific rooms to each course exam. We evaluate the performance of the proposed approach by applying it to real-world instances generated based on data provided by the Faculty of Engineering at the UDP. The results show a reduction in the number of conflicts and rescheduling with respect to the current exam scheduling practice used by this university.