International Timetabling Competition 2011


Welcome to the home page of ITC2011.

ITC2011 was the third International Timetabling Competition, devoted to High School Timetabling and sponsored by PATAT, EventMAP and CTIT.

Following on from the first and second competitions, the third International Timetabling Competition aimed to stimulate timetabling research generally, and especially to encourage the alignment of research with practice by offering real-world instances of timetabling problems for solution.

Consisting of three separate rounds, the Competition focused on the important area of High School Timetable. This is a complex common problem faced by thousands of educational institutions worldwide.

The overall objective of the competition were the following:
(i) Allow researchers to trial their techniques in a competitive setting on 'real world' practical problems.
(ii) Encourage research in the area of complex NP hard real world problems.
(iii) Attract researchers from all disciplines to compete.
(iv) Further algorithmic development in the area of educational development.
(v) Generate all-time best solutions to these problem instances.

All instances were provided in XML.

The first round made use of a set of existing benchmark data and aimed at generating the best recorded results. Competitors could use what ever resources and techniques in attempting to generate their solutions. This is an attempt to replicate the 'real world' where timetabers are more interested in achieving the 'best' solution as opposed to getting a solution quickly. Solutions must be submitted before May 7, 2012.

The second round made use of the hidden archive. The winner was chosen based on effectiveness in a specified time (1000 seconds) on these instances. Imposing a restrictive time limit allows for the investigation of algorithmic techniques which can provide 'good' solutions in a short space of time. This is often a key requirement in the 'real world' when alternative solutions are required in a short space of time. Hidden instances were used to ensure submitted techniques are not overly tuned to particular instances of the data.

In the third round, the hidden archive instances were released on June 11, 2012. As with the first round, competitors could use what ever resources and techniques in attempting to generate their solutions. The solutions were to be submitted on July 11, 2012.

Overview gives a short tour of the competition. Dates states the important dates, while Rules contains a more formal description of the organisation of the competition.

The competition was supported by the following organisations.