Title: Incorporating chaos into the developmental approach for solving the examination timetabling problem

Authors: Nelishia Pillay

Addresses: School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Abstract: The developmental approach (DA) is a novel methodology which mimics processes from cell biology. Previous work has evaluated different versions of the DA to solve the examination timetabling problem. The DA creates an organism, which represents a solution to the problem, using the processes of cell division, cell interaction and cell migration. A shortcoming of the standard DA algorithm is that is does not incorporate any form of chaos or disorder which is essential for organism development in nature. The paper firstly presents and tests noise operators for this purpose. It then examines the use of an evolutionary algorithm to evolve noise in the DA. The performance of the standard DA, the DA using noise operators (DANO) and the DA evolving noise (DAEN) are tested on a set of ten real-world examination timetabling problems from the Carter benchmark set of problems. DAEN was found to outperform both the DA and DANO. Furthermore, the results produced by DAEN were found to be comparative to other methodologies applied to the same set of problems.

Keywords: developmental approach; cell biology; chaos; examination timetabling; evolutionary algorithms; exams.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIC.2016.081327

International Journal of Bio-Inspired Computation, 2016 Vol.8 No.6, pp.355 - 366

Available online: 28 Dec 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article