optimizations based on room-distances possible?

From: Max Becker <maxbecker_at_rocketmail.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 04:49:45 -0700 (PDT)


I was thinking if it was possible to do some extension to the walk module that would consider more than just the fact that somebody needs to change rooms. To avoid walking is a very important feature, but it's not always possible.

In my particular case I have three separate 11-story buildings and each of them has just 3 elevators. So it makes a huge difference if a tiny class of 10 students has to move 7 floors (by elevator) or if a big class of 50 students needs to move 1 floor (taking the stairs). A switch of buildings for a big class is something to avoid totally if possible.

I thought about it like some GPS-routing software where there are different routes with different speeds, capacities, etc. to the same places. One would lay out the buildings flat on paper and connect the rooms with corridors, staircases, elevators and a sidewalk in between buildings. Each of the connections has a distance, speed, maximum capacity, etc.

Admittedly, this sounds like overkill and not at all related to timetabling. So the first step would be to just have a dynamic weight for walk that uses the number of students in the class. I'm not sure, but I believe this is possible with just tiny modifications to the DTD (a size attribute for classes). If the DTD would also allow a location attribute for the rooms one could start from there. The actual distance calculation could even be external then.

Maybe I'm just dreaming, but I believe Tablix is generally capable of solving a "travelling salesman". Please bring me back to reality showing me how wrong I am or help me getting my idea laid out straight.

Thanks a lot,

Received on Wed Aug 20 2008 - 13:49:58 CEST

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