%
% Appointment scheduling in MiniZinc.
%
% From Stack Overflow
% Appointment scheduling algorithm (N people with N free-busy slots, constraint-satisfaction)
% http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11143439/appointment-scheduling-algorithm-n-people-with-n-free-busy-slots-constraint-sa
% ""
% Problem statement
%
% We have one employer that wants to interview N people, and therefore makes N
% interview slots. Every person has a free-busy schedule for those slots. Give an algorithm
% that schedules the N people into N slots if possible, and return a flag / error / etc if
% it is impossible. What is the fastest possible runtime complexity?
%
% My approaches so far
%
% Naive: there are N! ways to schedule N people. Go through all of them, for each permutation,
% check if it's feasible. O( n! )
%
% Backtracking:
%
% Look for any interview time slots that can only have 1 person. Schedule the person,
% remove them from the list of candidates and remove the slot.
% Look for any candidates that can only go into 1 slot. Schedule the person, remove them
% from the list of candidates and remove the slot.
% Repeat 1 & 2 until there are no more combinations like that.
% Pick a person, schedule them randomly into one of their available slots. Remember
% this operation.
% Repeat 1, 2, 3 until we have a schedule or there is an unresolvable conflict. If we have a
% schedule, return it. If there's an unresolvable conflict, backtrack.
%
% This is O( n! ) worst case, I think - which isn't any better.
%
% There might be a D.P. solution as well - but I'm not seeing it yet.
%
% Other thoughts
%
% The problem can be represented in an NxN matrix, where the rows are "slots", columns are
% "people", and the values are "1" for free and "0" for busy. Then, we're looking for a
% row-column-swapped Identity Matrix within this matrix. Steps 1 & 2 are looking for a row or a
% column with only one "1". (If the rank of the matrix is = N, I that means that there is a
% solution. But the opposite does not hold) Another way to look at it is to treat the matrix
% as an unweighed directed graph edge matrix. Then, the nodes each represent 1 candidate and 1
% slot. We're then looking for a set of edges so that every node in the graph has one outgoing
% edge and one incoming edge. Or, with 2x nodes, it would be a bipartite graph.
%
% Example of a matrix:
%
% 1 1 1 1
% 0 1 1 0
% 1 0 0 1
% 1 0 0 1
%
% I have a feeling that this might be NP-C.
% ""
%
% This is a set based approach.
%
% This MiniZinc model was created by Hakan Kjellerstrand, hakank@bonetmail.com
% See also my MiniZinc page: http://www.hakank.org/minizinc/
%
include "globals.mzn";
int: n = 4;
% set based version: free persons per time slot
array[1..n] of set of int: s =
[
{1,2,3,4},
{2,3},
{1,4},
{1,4}
];
% decision variables
%
% the assignment of persons to a slot (appointment number 1..n)
array[1..n] of var 1..n: x;
solve satisfy;
% solve :: int_search(x, first_fail, indomain_min, complete) satisfy;
constraint
forall(i in 1..n) (
x[i] in s[i]
)
/\
alldifferent(x)
;
output
[
"x: " ++ show(x)
];