CCE Theses and Dissertations

An Extensible Markup Language (XML) Application for the University Course Timetabling Problem

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Michael J. Laszlo

Committee Member

James D. Canandy

Committee Member

Junping Sun


The university course timetabling problem involves the assignment of instructors, courses, and course sections to meeting rooms, dates, and times. Timetabling research has generally focused on the algorithms and techniques for solving specific scheduling problems. The independent evaluation and comparison of timetabling problems and solutions is limited by the lack of a standard timetabling language. This dissertation created an Extensible Markup Language (XML) application, called Course Markup Language (CourseML), for the university course timetabling problem. CourseML addressed the need for a standardized timetabling language to facilitate the efficient exchange of timetabling data and provided a means for the independent evaluation and comparison of time tabling problems and solutions. A sample real-world university course timetabling problem was defined. CourseML was used to define the sample problem. CourseML was evaluated based on how well it captured the sample problem, including hard and soft constraints, and how well it represented a solution instance. The qualities that made CourseML a candidate for general use were identified. The set of characteristics that made XML an appropriate language for specifying university course timetabling problems and solutions were identified.

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