Two phase heuristic algorithm for the university course timetabling problem: the case of University of Dar es Salaam
Keywords:Timetabling Problem, Simulated Annealing, Combinatorial Optimization, Steepest Descent
University course timetabling is the problem of scheduling resources such as lecturers, courses, and rooms to a number of timeslots over a planning horizon, normally a week, while satisfying a number of problem-specific constraints. Since timetabling problems differ from one institution to another, this paper investigated the case of the University of Dar Es salaam, based on the combination of Simulated Annealing (SA), and steepest descent in a two-phase approach. Solutions have been generated which greatly outperform the manually generated ones. Furthermore, the method compares well with previous work on Tabu Search but with faster execution time and higher quality on rooms allocation. It is concluded that the approach gives good results given a careful selection of parameters.