Algorithm For Efficient Seating Plan For Centralized Exam System

Exam seat allocation is one of the major concerns in quality education. With the increasing number of students, subjects, departments and rooms, exam seat management becomes complex. Maintaining a decent exam environment with the proper seating arrangement is one of the difficult jobs for authority. This research offers solution for exam seating arrangement problems that can be achieved through the sequential execution of three proposed algorithms. This research offers a solution for preventing some exam hall cheating by arranging seats for large students and it also finds out the best combination of rooms to be assigned for the exam to organize perfect seating based on the room orientation and size, number of students, differentiation of subjects. To do this research, we have collected data and methods from a university those are being used for their exam seating arrangement. By using university exam information we test our algorithms. It provides better seating plan then the manual system used by the university.

INTRODUCTION

A successful distribution of seats in exam is one of the primary concerns of a well prepared exam hall. While distributing seats in the exam hall, authority tries to ensure a minimum distance between students to protect cheating as like as copying from “crib sheet” and other students [1], [6]. Another important issue is to utilize the best use of seats. The process of exam seat assign starts with the exam timetabling [2],[3] but in some cases timetabling is separate from exam seating [4]. Usually Exam seats are allocated manually based on some basic rules. Most of the cases, it demands high cost and time to provide the optimum solution while there are a large number of students and they are from multiple disciplines or subjects. Some of the cases there are possibilities of having some empty seats, overlapping students with different subjects in the same column and also having no distance between the students with getting same question set. As a result it becomes very tough for invigilators to control the exam hall and also to ensure a proper exam environment. With the increasing number of students and subjects, it becomes more difficult to arrange the proper seat plan for the students. Most of the institutions do this process manually. Although there have many related works of exam arrangement, institutions face difficulties to do those works. Most difficulties arise from the exam timetabling and room assignment problem. There are few solutions for exam room assignment [3],[7]. The Senior Capstone Project [5] of Prince of Songkla University, Thailand is offered a solution but the feature not effective enough. M.N.M. Kahar and G. Kendall [7] provided a solution for room assignment and they consider that only one exam will take place in one room at a time, but it may create an opportunity to cheat in exam hall as like as copying from other. M. Ayob and A. Malik[3] also did the same thing about the room assignment, but they consider some special exam. This type of exam environment is easy to maintain, but it does not ensure the quality of exam environment. To solve this problem, this research offers a system to generate an exam seat plan for a large number of students from different subjects. This system mostly focused on optimum uses of seats, having a distance of students getting same query set to prevent cheating (copying from others) in the exam, avoiding seat overlapping and finally full seating arrangement that is comfortable both for the students and invigilators.

PROBLEM ANALYSIS

Though centralize exam affects educational achievement, but it is essential for standard education [10]. Most of the institutions are becoming unwilling to centralize examination system [11] day by day. One of the major causes is that with the increasing number of students, courses and departments, it becomes almost unmanageable to allocate proper exam seats. It is quite difficult to properly allocate the seats among a large number of students whenever the students are from different subjects. We have to follow some preconditions for proper allocation of exam seats. Minimum one column of distance needs to be maintained while seating the students of the same subject. The students of different subjects should not be allowed into one column. The best use of the seats should be confirmed. This may possible for a small number of students to do it manually with fulfilling these preconditions, but for a large number of, it becomes harder. To get rid of these hassles, some institutions encourage decentralize the exam system instead of the centralize exam system [11]. They offer the course teachers to arrange the exams individually for the students of the same course. But it is very hard for a course teacher to manage quality examination while conducting exams this way. For maintaining central examination some institutions offer one room for one exam to get rid of this hassle of preparing a seating plan. As a result the quality of examination as well as education becomes questionable for lots of the educational institutions. This exam seating problem can be simplified into two parts, the first part is exam timetabling and the second part is seating and room assignment. Our research objective is to find out the solution of exam seating or room assigning problems to prevent cheating in exams.

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