Automatic Scheduling

Group Meetings
We developed a program to organize fellowship groups for a church in order to ensure good mixing of the families

Scheduling is a ubiquitous organizational problem. Employees need to be scheduled so that a business is adequately staffed and employees are happy with their schedules. Manufacturing plants need to be scheduled so that the production lines produce the optimal mix of products while meeting a variety of constraints. Meetings need to be scheduled so that the right mix of people have the right equipment and never need to be in more than one place at a time.

Many organizations deal with these problems by having people develop schedules. However, these schedules rarely satisfy people’s preferences as well as they could, and a computer can generally do significantly better. This can save time, money, the hassle of having to come up with the schedules by hand, and can make employees happier.

There are two main classes of solutions to scheduling problems. One of them is centered around coming up with a set of good rules of thumb for the problem. There are a number of different tasks and a variety of rules of thumb which have been studied for them and shown to work well. The other class of solutions is to treat the problem as an optimization problem and to use optimization techniques. There are a host of optimization techniques available, and they are also often very effective in solving scheduling problems. Both approaches have their place; the best technique to use depends on the nature of the problem.

If you have a scheduling problem, please contact us about it today!