The effect of neighborhood structures on tabu search algorithm in solving course timetabling problem

ALADAĞ Ç. H. , Hocaoglu G., Basaran M. A.

EXPERT SYSTEMS WITH APPLICATIONS, vol.36, no.10, pp.12349-12356, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.eswa.2009.04.051
  • Page Numbers: pp.12349-12356


The course timetabling problem must be solved by the departments of Universities at the beginning of every semester. It is a though problem which requires department to use humans and computers in order to find a proper course timetable. One of the most mentioned difficult nature of the problem is context dependent which changes even from departments to departments. Different heuristic approaches have been proposed in order to solve this kind of problem in the literature. One of the efficient solution methods for this problem is tabu search. Different neighborhood structures based on different types of move have been defined in studies using tabu search. In this paper, the effects of moves called simple and swap on the operation of tabu search are examined based on defined neighborhood structures. Also, two new neighborhood structures are proposed by using the moves called simple and swap. The fall semester of course timetabling problem of the Department of Statistics at Hacettepe University is solved utilizing four neighborhood structures and the comparison of the results obtained from these structures is given. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.