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Why is timetabling so difficult?

Here are some reasons why timetabling is so difficult.

  • While the timetable is being made, the requirements can change. For example, a school decides to increase the number of classes assigned to a teacher.
  • There are some times conflicting requirements which makes timetabling an impossible task. For example, a Computer Science teacher only visits a college on Tuesday and Thursday but not all his periods can be accomodated in these two days. At times even identifying what the conflict is can be a daunting task.
  • Among other factors, scheduling tends to become more and more complex as the size of the institution increases. For example, a school’s timetable should be easier to make than a university timetable.
  • Resource sharing can also be a challenge. For example, only one class can use the library or a science laboratory at a time.


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