Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Intractible Scheduling Problems

Today I spent a while working on putting together a schedule that makes about infinity people happy. My strategy involved taking the information that I knew about who preferred what, putting it on pieces of paper, and taping them to the wall. Then I could move clumps of things around to make things work.

I was missing some data, so I emailed a few people to find out what they preferred in terms of schedule. By this point there weren't many options left, so I asked, "Do you want Thursday morning or Friday morning?"

One person responded by saying that he could do either day but he prefers Friday.

The other person is a computer scientist, so he said that whichever day had "morning" being closer to afternoon was what he preferred. And he sent me a link to the combinatorial scheduling software that he works on -- I think in hopes that I would be able to find a solution where he's scheduled in the afternoon.