Effective Solution of University Course Timetabling using Particle Swarm Optimizer based Hyper Heuristic approach

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Zahid Iqbal


The university course timetable problem (UCTP) is typically a combinatorial optimization problem. Manually achieving a useful timetable requires many days of effort, and the results are still unsatisfactory. unsatisfactory. Various states of art methods (heuristic, meta-heuristic) are used to satisfactorily solve UCTP. However, these approaches typically represent the instance-specific solutions. The hyper-heuristic framework adequately addresses this complex problem. This research proposed Particle Swarm Optimizer-based Hyper Heuristic (HH PSO) to solve UCTP efficiently. PSO is used as a higher-level method that selects low-level heuristics (LLH) sequence which further generates an optimal solution. The proposed approach generates solutions into two phases (initial and improvement). A new LLH named “least possible rooms left” has been developed and proposed to schedule events. Both datasets of international timetabling competition (ITC) i.e., ITC 2002 and ITC 2007 are used to evaluate the proposed method. Experimental results indicate that the proposed low-level heuristic helps to schedule events at the initial stage. When compared with other LLH’s, the proposed LLH schedule more events for 14 and 15 data instances out of 24 and 20 data instances of ITC 2002 and ITC 2007, respectively. The experimental study shows that HH PSO gets a lower soft constraint violation rate on seven and six data instances of ITC 2007 and ITC 2002, respectively. This research has concluded the proposed LLH can get a feasible solution if prioritized.


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Iqbal Z, Ilyas R, Chan HY, Ahmed N. Effective Solution of University Course Timetabling using Particle Swarm Optimizer based Hyper Heuristic approach. Baghdad Sci.J [Internet]. 2021Dec.20 [cited 2022Jan.20];18(4(Suppl.):1465. Available from: https://bsj.uobaghdad.edu.iq/index.php/BSJ/article/view/6674


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