In this paper, we investigate adaptive linear combinations of graph coloring heuristics with a heuristic modifier to address the examination timetabling problem. We invoke a normalisation strategy for each parameter in order to generalise the specific problem data. Two graph coloring heuristics were used in this study (largest degree and saturation degree). A score for the difficulty of assigning each examination was obtained from an adaptive linear combination of these two heuristics and examinations in the list were ordered based on this value. The examinations with the score value representing the higher difficulty were chosen for scheduling based on two strategies. We tested for single and multiple heuristics with and without a heuristic modifier with different combinations of weight values for each parameter on the Toronto and ITC2007 benchmark data sets. We observed that the combination of multiple heuristics with a heuristic modifier offers an effective way to obtain good solution quality. Experimental results demonstrate that our approach delivers promising results. We conclude that this adaptive linear combination of heuristics is a highly effective method and simple to implement.
- Examination timetabling; Constructive heuristic; Linear combinations; Graph colouring
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Modelling and Simulation
- Information Systems and Management