Conference Scheduling: A Personalized Approach

Dries Goossens

Conference Scheduling: A Personalized Approach

Abstract

Scientific conferences have become an essential part of academic research and require significant investments (e.g. time and money) from their participants. It falls upon the organizers to develop a schedule that allows the participants to attend the talks of their interest. We present a combined approach of assigning talks to rooms and time slots, grouping talks into sessions, and deciding on an optimal itinerary for each participant. Our goal is to maximize attendance, taking into account the common practice of session hopping. On a secondary level, we accommodate presenters' availabilities. We use a hierarchical optimization approach, sequentially solving integer programming models, which has been applied to construct the schedule of the MathSport (2013), MAPSP (2015) and ORBEL (2017) conferences.