A small-to-medium-sized conference scheduling heuristic incorporating presenter and limited attendee preferences

Nicholls, M 2007, 'A small-to-medium-sized conference scheduling heuristic incorporating presenter and limited attendee preferences', Journal of the Operational Research Society, vol. 58, no. 3, pp. 301-308.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title A small-to-medium-sized conference scheduling heuristic incorporating presenter and limited attendee preferences
Author(s) Nicholls, M
Year 2007
Journal name Journal of the Operational Research Society
Volume number 58
Issue number 3
Start page 301
End page 308
Total pages 8
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Abstract In this paper, a simple heuristic is suggested that allows quick scheduling of small-to-medium-sized conferences by the programme chair/organizer. Owing to the nature of the problem that the heuristic was designed to solve, no annealing or combinatorial optimization techniques were required. Additionally, there is no explicit objective function associated with the problem only some simple constraints. The suggested heuristic aims to allocate all the conference papers to sessions over the conference duration taking into account presenter-based preferences (PBP) and some implicit attendee-based preferences. The conference programme chair (PC) may also insert preferences as to the positioning of papers and sessions. The heuristic also permits the PC to allocate appropriate rooms to sessions based on expectations regarding attendance. Owing to the simple nature of the heuristic, all that is required to facilitate its operation is a small programme created using a standard database package. The suggested heuristic, which effectively is a set of rules to be affected in a specific sequence, has been successfully used to schedule a Western Decision Sciences Institute (WDSI) annual conference. The conference spanned four days, had over three hundred participants, involved over 80 sessions with 200 papers and 50 special sessions.
Subject Organisational Planning and Management
Keyword(s) Participant Satisfaction
DOI - identifier 10.1057/palgrave.jors.2602144
ISSN 0160-5682
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