Constrained Group Balancing: Why Does it Work

European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 206, No. 1, pp 144-154, 2010

Posted: 31 Jan 2009 Last revised: 21 Feb 2011

See all articles by D. Krass

D. Krass

Rotman School of Management

Anton Ovchinnikov

Smith School of Business - Queen's University; INSEAD - Decision Sciences

Date Written: November 23, 2009

Abstract

We consider a set of objects possessing multiple attributes that must be partitioned into a certain number of groups so that the groups are as balanced as possible with respect to the number of objects possessing each attribute. This problem arises in a variety of applications, ranging from assigning students to study groups to designing level schedules for JIT assembly lines. A direct approach, enforcing balance through hard constraints, may lead to infeasibility, but works well in practice. We analyze this phenomenon from the worst-case and empirical perspectives, as well as through an in-depth analysis of one representative practical application - the design of student groups at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. The goals of the analysis are to understand what classes of balancing problems may contain infeasible instances and how prevalent such instances are within these classes, as well as to synthesize practical managerial insights that a decision-maker could follow in order to increase the chances that balanced groups can be found.

Keywords: group, balancing, integer, programming, constraint, constrained, application, OR, MS, education

Suggested Citation

Krass, Dmitry and Ovchinnikov, Anton, Constrained Group Balancing: Why Does it Work (November 23, 2009). European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 206, No. 1, pp 144-154, 2010 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1335475

Dmitry Krass

Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George st
Toronto, ON M5S 3E6
Canada

Anton Ovchinnikov (Contact Author)

Smith School of Business - Queen's University ( email )

143 Union Str. West
Kingston, ON K7L3N6
Canada

INSEAD - Decision Sciences ( email )

United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
677
PlumX Metrics