A new binary model for university examination timetabling: a case study


1 Department of Industrial Engineering, Firoozkooh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Firoozkooh, Iran

2 Department of Management, Firoozkooh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Firoozkooh, Iran


Examination timetabling problem (ETP) is one of the most important issues in universities. An improper timetable
may result in students' dissatisfaction as it may not let them study enough between two sequential exams. In
addition, the many exams to be scheduled, the large number of students who have taken different courses, the
limited number of rooms, and some constraints such as no conflict in a single student's exams make it very difficult
to schedule experimentally. A mathematical programming model is required to formulate such a sophisticated
problem. In this paper, a new binary model is developed for ETP. The novelty of the paper can be discussed in two
directions. The first one is that a course can be offered more than once in a semester. If a course is requested by a
few students, then it is enough to be offered once. If the number of students requesting a course is more than the
maximum number of students who are allowed to attend a single class, then the course is multi-offered. The
second novelty is that sharing a room for two simultaneous exams is allowed. Also, the model considers some hard
and soft constraints, and the objective function is set in such a way that soft constraints are satisfied as much as
possible. Finally, the model is applied in a sample department and is solved by GAMS