An integer programming model for assigning students to elective courses
AbstractThis paper deals with the problem of assigning students to elective courses according to their preferences. This process of assigning students to elective courses according to their preferences often places before academic institutions numerous obstacles, the most typical being a limited number of students who can be assigned to any particular class. Furthermore, due to financial or technical reasons, the maximum number of the elective courses is determined in advance, meaning that the institution decides which courses to conduct. Therefore, the expectation that all the students will be assigned to their first choice of courses is not realistic (perfect satisfaction). This paper presents an integer programming model that maximizes the total student satisfaction in line with a number of different constraints. The measure of student satisfaction is based on a student’s order of preference according to the principle: the more a choice is met the higher the satisfaction. Following the basic model, several versions of the models are generated to cover possible real-life situations, while taking into consideration the manner student satisfaction is measured, as well as the preference of academic institution within set technical and financial constraints. The main contribution of the paper is introducing the concept of the minimal student satisfaction level that reduces the number of students dissatisfied with the courses to which they were assigned.
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