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DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF EXAMINATION SCHEDULING AND ALLOCATION SYSTEM

ABSTRACT

This research work was embarked on due to the issues being faced in academic setting on scheduling exams for the students so as not to have a clash on the date, time and venue at which the exam will be held. Therefore, the researcher took it upon herself to design an automatic system that is capable of scheduling examination time and allocating venue to it based on the data supplied to it. The researcher took the following steps to accomplish this project work. The method of system design is a Structured Systems Analysis and Design Methodology (SSADM). Through the work, we consider few assumptions and constraints, closely related to the general exam scheduling problem, and mainly driven from accumulated experience at various collages. The new system will be design and integrated using Visual basic programming language the choice of language in the research work.

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The academic section/environment has gone so complex that an automated system may be required to automate certain aspects of the academic system. One such area of difficulty is examination scheduling and venue allocation; those saddled with the responsibility of exam time table creation are always faced with challenges of creating effective system that will deliver its purpose.

Automation has been seen as a way of enhancing Manual activities. For instance, Manual operations are characterized with some setbacks such as erroneous computation etc. with automation, those setbacks are either eliminated or reduced to barest minimal. To this effect application are being created to hide the manual operations and project automation.

The general task of solving examination scheduling problems is iterative and time consuming. In real world application, the participants to the examination scheduling have conflicting preferences which make the search for an optimal solution to the problem. In order to solve the problem it is necessary to find a compromise between all the parties involved in the requirement, usually conflicting (e.g. day, time, venue). The constraints are related to the availability, timetabling and preference of each of the instructor, room availability, number of student and curricula. In order to solve this problem for the particular case of university system, examination scheduling and allocation has to adopt the computer-base approach. Computer-base approach enables the institution to automate certain manual task and work efficiently. Also, in the particular case of timetable scheduling, the automated system could find an optimal or a sub-optimal solution using mainly inter agent communication.

 

 

The challenge is to schedule so many exams of courses in a limited, and usually short, period of time. An Exam schedule should avoid conflicts, in the sense that no two or more exams for the same student are scheduled at the same time. Part of the challenge is to achieve fairness for the students. A fair schedule does not schedule more than two exams, for example for a student on one day. In the meantime, a fair schedule does not leave a big gap between exams for the students. The exam scheduling problem is defined as follows: "We first represent the courses by nodes of a graph, where two nodes are adjacent if the two corresponding courses are registered by at least one student. Then, it is required to assign each course represented by a node a time slot, such that no two adjacent nodes have the same slot, in condition that a set of constraints imposed on the problem are also met." We solve this problem by using node graph coloring technique.

This study provides a mechanism for automatic exam-schedule generation that achieves fairness, and minimizes the exam period. As a result, this research work presents a graph-coloring-based algorithm for the exam scheduling application which achieves the objectives of fairness, accuracy, and optimal exam time period.

Numerous studies have considered the problem of exam scheduling. The main difference between various studies is the set of assumptions and constraints taken into consideration. Burke, Elliman and Weare, for example, followed a similar approach using graph coloring. However, in their algorithm, they addressed only the conflicts without any constraints. Moreover, the algorithm presented in does not eliminate conflicts, and only aims at minimizing conflicts. In this paper, we consider few but important assumptions and constraints, closely related to the general exam scheduling, and mainly driven from the real life requirements collected through the experience at various universities. Such assumptions and constraints are distinct from those present in more general graph coloring problems. We summarize the main assumptions and constraints as follows:

1.The number of exam periods per day (Time Slots (TS)) can be set by the user. TS depend on college/department specific constraints. For example, a university that uses a 2-hours exam period and begins the exam day at 8:00 am and finish at 8:00 pm, may set TS to 5.

 

2.The number of concurrent exam sessions or concurrency level (Np) depends on the number of available halls, and the availability of faculty to conduct the exams. Np is determined by the registrar’s office. This paper assumes that Np is a system parameter and the scheduling algorithm has been examined with several Np values.

 

3.A student shall not have more than (y) exams per day (fairness requirement), and is treated as a system tunable parameter.

 

4.A student shall not have a gap of more than (x) days between two successive exams, and this factor is to be determined by the college or department (another fairness requirement).

 

5.The schedule shall be done in the minimal possible period of time, i.e., minimize the number of exam slots and/or number of exam days. The exam time period is an outcome of the scheduling algorithm.

 

1.2STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The major issue that is being encountered by the institution, is that they always have a clash on the examination time for the student exams and the venue for writing the paper. More to that, they stress in compiling the examination table is heavy loaded on the staff and the management of the institution – examination board committee.

The system analyst just makes sure that there is no clashing for the students but get heavy work load on the student like a student writing a course of 6 credit unit on concurrent time without a rest of mind and soul.

 

1.3SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

This study is primarily aimed at increasing efficiency in operations, reducing error and running cost, stabilising the degree of equatorial point of and standard level of exam schedule and allocations of venue and runs the distribution of exam time in the school by introducing an automated exam time scheduling system using color grapy algorithm system. It will easy the work load of the staff.

 

1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this study is to improve current operational process in the school scheduling exam time-table and venue allocation to avoid classing by developing efficient computer software that can handle time schedule and allocation in a computerised fashion.

 

1.5OBJECTIVE OF STUDY

 The research main objective for this research work is to develop an automatic computer aided system capable of generating an academic school examination time table scheduling system and allocation using Genetic Algorithm, which will in turn reduce the stress on the staff and the exam committee board on scheduling their exams and location.

It will also guarantee that all exams are scheduled and students can sit all the exams that they are required to do and no string attaches.

 

 

1.6RESEARCH QUESTION

For the course of this study the following research questions were formulated to guide the research work through.

1.How long does it take you to generate or schedule an examination time set and allocate the student to the corresponding venue?

2.Do you have clash of examination venue or student having two papers at the same time due to error?

3.Is there time space for the student to read and prepare for another paper after his/her first exam?

4.Is there any provision for student, leverage of exam time whereby a student should not take heavy credit load course simultaneously?

 

1.7SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of the project includes the designing an exam scheduling and allocation system with the requirements similar to those of our institute or whose requirements can be converted to those being handled by this system. This system can be used for any time scheduling and allocation work, and for the course of this study it is for academic purpose only.


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