Have you ever wonder why your timetabling software didn’t really give you a solution as good as you were expecting? Or even how can the algorithm now what your University priorities are and how can you make it respect those priorities?
Well, the concept is actually quite simple. When you are working with a robust scheduling and timetabling software, it provides a set of objectives for you to prioritize. The key here is that some of them will be competing against each other – meaning that by enhancing a specific objective you will be penalizing another one.
With that being said, it is essential to carefully consider every objective in order to “tell” to the algorithms what you really need from each one of those objectives.
When considering the importance of an objective, the full length of the provided scale should be in use (for instance: 0 – irrelevant 1- not important 9 – very important).
If you set the values of the scale only to 7, 8, 9, you are saying that all objectives are either “important” or “very important”, meaning that you are only using a 3 level scale out of 10, not allowing a real differentiation between objectives.
This quick reminder serves to highlight that timetabling solutions, when used as they are meant to, can add an outstanding value, quickly becoming a crucial tool for the operational and strategic management of a University.