International Journal of
Physical Sciences

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Phys. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-1950
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPS
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2572

Full Length Research Paper

Artificial bee colony search algorithm for examination timetabling problems

Malek Alzaqebah* and Salwani Abdullah        
Data Mining and Optimisation Research Group (DMO), Centre of Artificial intelligence Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, 43600, UKM, Selangor, Malaysia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 June 2011
  •  Published: 02 September 2011


Artificial bee colony is a population-based search algorithm that mimics a natural behavior of real honey bees to find rich food sources to obtain maximum quantity of nectar and share the information of food sources with other bees in the hive. This paper concerns primarily about how to use artificial bee colony to solve examination timetabling problems which it is known as a NP-hard problem. It deals with assigning exams to a limited number of timeslots while satisfying a set of constraints. This algorithm works based on three categories of bees, that is, employed, onlooker and scout bees that communicate with each other in sharing the information of the food sources. Our computational experiments indicate that the proposed approach produces promising results when tested on two set of instances that have been widely used in literature.


Key words: Honeybees algorithms, artificial bee colony, examination timetabling, Metaheuristics.