Metaheuristic approach proposal for the solution of the bi-objective course scheduling problem

Document Type : Article


1 Department of Industrial Engineering, Kutahya Dumlupinar University, Kutahya, Turkey

2 Department of Informatics, Kutahya Dumlupinar University, Kutahya, Turkey


Timetabling problems are among the commonly encountered problems in real life, from education institutions to airline companies. It is generally difficult to obtain optimal solutions for the timetabling problems that vary in terms of structures of constraints and objective functions, and these problems are considered being in NP-hard category, which cannot be solved in polynomial time in real life. In this study, a bi-objective mathematical model is proposed for a course scheduling problem in Kutahya Dumlupinar University Department of Industrial Engineering. While it is aimed in the first objective function to maximize the sum of the preferences of instructors determined by using the Analytic Hierarchy Process Method, it is aimed to minimize the students’ course overlap in the other. Conic scalarization method is used to combine the objective functions. Due to NP-hard nature of the problem, the Tabu Search Algorithm, one of metaheuristic approaches is used to solve it. Using the obtained data, the Tabu Search Algorithm by considering the proposed bi-objective mathematical model is designed for the problem and a software is developed in Excel Visual Basic program. The experimental results are evaluated with Analysis of Variance by using Minitab Program, comparing the results, satisfactory solutions are obtained.


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