Transportation sustainability and students’ urban mobility: a multicriteria approach through class timetabling optimization

Research Project 2017-2018
Funded by the Mission Sustainability 2016 Programme

Reducing urban congestion is one of the 11 goals of the United Nations sustainable development goals. Great part of the problem is due to synchronized movements of people heading to work or school destination during traffic peak hours. Despite municipalities manage to appropriately arrange the entrance timing of primary and high schools, university students commuting only depends on lessons timetabling. In this way, the faculty influences thousand university students’ mobility, deeply impacting on the neighbor area traffic. Purpose of this project is to minimize traffic congestion on the university neighbor area through the optimization of the lessons timetabling. On top of this, an optimized timetable would also allow students to avoid commuting to the university for roughly two weeks per year – through the reduction of the academic calendar – and on those days when only few hours of lessons are scheduled. An optimized lesson timetabling can be reached through an operational research mathematical approach, considering the traffic data of the university area streets along with a large set of constraints and optimality criteria: constraint originates from several issues, e.g. classroom availability; optimality criteria can be detected through surveys addressing students’ population, in order to identify their preferences related to study hours position during the day, maximum or minimum length of the lessons hours, etc. Requirements definition, training and test of the system will be performed on the case of the Engineering School of Tor Vergata University but the results will be transferrable to any other context.

Research Team

Project Code: E81I18000520005

Approval date: 30/01/2018 – D.R. n. 2817: 22/12/2016