The benchmark program is designed to test how fast your machine is at doing the sort of things that are involved in timetabling. The program will tell you how long you can run your algorithm on the timetabling problem instances. It is not possible to provide perfectly equitable benchmarks across many platforms and algorithms, and we know that the benchmark may be kinder to some people than to others. Of course, all finalists will be run on a standard machine therefore creating a 'level playing field'.
Multi-threading is not permitted; all solves must run as a single thread. The benchmark is only suitable for individual, single threaded processes. It is not suitable for, for example, specialist parallel machines or clusters.
You can obtain the benchmark programs from http://www.utwente.nl/ctit/hstt/itc2011/benchmarking/Benchmark_ITC3.zip.
The program should be run when the machine is not being used for anything else. Things to check for are:
- There are no unnecessary windows open.
- There are no significant OS background processes going on (e.g. back-up).
- There are no remote users on the computer.
- There are no CPU sharing processes running (e.g. SETI at home, United Devices, DREAM).
The benchmark program will indicate that we will be able to run our timetabling program for between 500 - 1500 seconds (for modern PCs). If the results you get are not in line with this, then please get in touch with Andrea Schaerf. However, please bear in mind that the exact speed of your computer depends on a number of factors including the memory and the operating system, in addition to the clock speed.