University Timetabling Using Constraint Logic Programming

  • Hans-Joachim Goltz
  • Dirk Matzke
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1551)


A timetable is a temporal arrangement of a set of meetings such that all given constraints are satisfied. A timetabling problem can be suitably modelled in terms of a set of constraints. We use Constraint Logic Programming and develop methods, techniques and concepts for a combination of interactive and automatic timetabling of university courses and school curricula. An exemplary application of such a timetabling system was developed for the Charité Medical Faculty at the Humboldt University, Berlin. The timetabling system is flexible enough to take into account special user requirements and to allow constraints to be modified easily if no basic conceptual change in the timetabling is necessary. An essential component is an automatic heuristic solution search with an interactive user-intervention facility. The user will, however, only be able to alter a timetable or schedule such that no hard constraints are violated.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    S. Abdennadher and M. Marte. University timetabling using constraint handling rules. In O. Ridoux, editor, Proc. JFPLC’98, Journées Francophones de Programmation Logique et Programmation par Constraintes, pages 39–49, Paris, 1998. Hermes.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A. Aggoun and N. Beldiceanu. Extending CHIP in order to solve complex scheduling and placement problems. J. Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 17(7):57–73, 1993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    F. Azevedo and P. Barahona. Timetabling in constraint logic programming. In Proc. World Congress on Expert Systems, 1994.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    E. Beldiceanu and E. Contejean. Introducing global constraints in CHIP. J. Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 20(12):97–123, 1994.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    P. Boizumault, Y. Delon, and L. Peridy. Constraint logic programming for examination timetabling. J. Logic Programming, 26(2):217–233, 1996.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    E. Burke and M. Carter, editors. Practice and Theory of Automated Timetabling II, volume 1408 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 1998.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    E. Burke, D. Eiiliman, P. Ford, and R. Weare. Examination timetabling in British universities: A survey. In [8], pages 76–90, 1996.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    E. Burke and P. Ross, editors. Practice and Theory of Automated Timetabling, volume 1153 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer-Verlag, Berlin,Heidelberg, 1996.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    T. B. Cooper and J. H. Kingston. The complexity of timetable construction problems. In [8], pages 183–295, 1996.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    M. Dincbas, P. van Hentenryck, H. Simonis, A. Aggoun, T. Graf, and F. Berthier. The constraint logic programming language CHIP. In Int. Conf. Fifth Generation Computer Systems (FGCS∝88), pages 693–702, Tokyo, 1988.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    T. Frühwirth. Theory and practice of constraint handling rules. J. Logic Programming, 37:95–138, 1998.zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    H.-J. Goltz. Reducing domains for search in CLP(FD) and its application to jobshop scheduling. In U. Montanari and F. Rossi, editors, Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming-CP’95, volume 976 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 549–562, Berlin, Heidelberg, 1995. Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    C. Guéret, N. Jussien, P. Boizumault, and C. Prins. Building university timetables using constraint logic programming. In [8], pages 130–145, 1996.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    P. Van Hentenryck. Constraint Satisfaction in Logic Programming. MIT Press, Cambridge (Mass.),London, 1989.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    M. Henz and J. Würtz. Using Oz for college timetabling. In [8], pages 162–177, 1996.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    M. Kambi and D. Gilbert. Timetabling in constraint logic programming. In Proc. 9th Symp. on Industrial Applications of PROLOG (INAP’96), Tokyo, Japan, 1996.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    G. Lajos. Complete university modular timetabling using constraint logic programming. In [8], pages 146–161, 1996.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    K. Marriott and P. J. Stucky. Programming with Constraints: An Introduction. The MIT Press, Cambridge (MA),London, 1998.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    A. Schaerf. A survey of automated timetabling. Technical Report CS-R9567, Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica, 1995.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    G.M. White and J. Zhang. Generating complete university timetables by combining tabu search with constraint logic. In [6], pages 187–198, 1998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans-Joachim Goltz
    • 1
  • Dirk Matzke
    • 1
  1. 1.GMD — German National Research Center for Information Technology GMD-FIRSTBerlin

Personalised recommendations