Scheduling basic training for the Federal Armed Forces of Germany
Bradley, Gordon H.
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This thesis describes the design; development and testing of a personal computer-based system to schedule basic training for Federal Armed Forces of Germany (Bundeswehr) conscripts. Each quarter 20,000 conscripts undergo three months of basic training in over 100 different units. The training objectives fit in 450 training topics which are currently scheduled in a time consummg manual process. An interactive PASCAL program with a graphical user interface heuristically constructs a schedule and accommodates manual changes. The heuristic uses a clock advancing selection algorithm followed by an improvement algorithm. After pre-assigning topics that require a special facility or instructor, the heuristic schedules the remaining topics while satisfying all prerequisites. Extensive testing of the program on realistic data shows that the software produces a high quality schedule with face validity and requires less than ten minutes on an IBM 80486DX-2 66MHz personal computer to construct a schedule for one quarter. It is estimated that quarterly data entry, schedule review and revision with the program would require 1.5 man-days; this is a significant savings compared to the 10 to 15 man-days currently needed without the program. Considering 100 units must produce a quarterly schedule four times a year, the program would cut the Bundeswehr yearly scheduling effort from between 4,000 and 6,000 man-days to an estimated 600 man-days.
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