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Graph Colouring and Clustering Heuristic Approach for Minimizing Examination Duration: A Case Study

Keywords: exam timetable , heuristic approach , graph colouring.

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Abstract:

Exam timetable is difficult to be done manually due to several factors such as dual academic calendar, larger student enrolments, constraints among invigilators and limitations of resources. At tertiary education, preparing exam timetable is very critical in order to ensure that all students are able to sit for the exam of every subject that they have registered without any clashing and only sit for one exam at one time. The lecturers who are also the invigilators as well need to be considered as one of the elements in the development of exam timetable as they are required to be in one venue at one time. Therefore, a good time table needs to ensure that the students and invigilators are able to commit their roles accordingly during the exam period. But the main problem is the duration of the exam which will be extended to fulfil all the requirements. This study presents a solution method intended for reducing exam duration in Centre for Foundation Studies and Extension Education (FOSEE), Multimedia University (MMU), Malaysia. The method of solution is using heuristic approaches that include graph colouring, clustering and sequential heuristic. The discussions were focused on constraints among invigilators and the approach is tested on real-world exam timetabling problems.

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