Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NCAA Conference Creates Schedule Using New Algorithm

Date:
March 9, 1998
Source:
Institute For Operations Research And The Management Sciences
Summary:
Planning the often complex schedule of home and away games for men's college basketball has been improved through a new algorithm designed for a conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, according to an article in this month's edition of a journal published by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

Planning the often complex schedule of home and away games for men's college basketball has been improved through a new algorithm designed for a conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, according to an article in this month's edition of a journal published by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

Related Articles


The operations research program was designed for the nine-member Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) to replace a manual system that had become arduous as scheduling grew more complicated. Using algorithms - mathematical formulas set down like cookbook recipes - the authors of the study generated 300 million possible schedules, narrowed the number to 17, and then 3 before arriving at a single schedule that met all the ACC's needs. The system, which was adopted for the 1997-1998 season, is capable of sifting through this vast number of possible schedules in a single day.

The new system provides numerous benefits, such as ensuring that teams complete their seasons before home team fans every other year; providing television and radio broadcasters with a steady stream of well-matched games; giving players enough time to attend class and rest between games; and making the schedule convenient for fans attending home games.

The Atlantic Coast conference includes nine universities: Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, and Wake Forest.

The operations research program has potential impact for other college basketball conferences, college football scheduling, major league baseball, and national football scheduling. The authors have also created a scheduling system for the ACC women's basketball division.

Daunting Math Problem

As described in their paper, the operations researchers' task was like a school math problem - but at a daunting level of difficulty. Among the factors that had to be balanced were:

  1. Every team plays every other team twice in a season, and the meetings should be separated by as long a time span as possible
  2. The final weekend of the season is the most important and must be reserved for traditional rivalries, with Duke-North Carolina the most critical pairing
  3. Teams must vary home, away, and bye games to reduce strain on athletes and accommodate spectator preferences
  4. No team should play more than two consecutive games at home or away
  5. Every week, teams play one weekday and one weekend game
  6. As many conference teams as possible should play at an available time
  7. Numerous special sequences must be scheduled to satisfy broadcasters, viewers, and advertisers.

The study, "Scheduling a Major College Basketball Conference," was written by two operations researchers, Dr. George L. Nemhauser of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, and Dr. Michael A. Trick, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. It appears in the current issue of the journal Operations Research, a publication of INFORMS.

The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) is an international scientific society with 12,000 members, including Nobel Prize laureates, dedicated to applying scientific methods to help improve decision-making, management, and operations. Members of INFORMS work primarily in business, government, and academia. They are represented in fields as diverse as airlines, health care, law enforcement, the military, the stock market, and telecommunications.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute For Operations Research And The Management Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Institute For Operations Research And The Management Sciences. "NCAA Conference Creates Schedule Using New Algorithm." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980309041942.htm>.
Institute For Operations Research And The Management Sciences. (1998, March 9). NCAA Conference Creates Schedule Using New Algorithm. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980309041942.htm
Institute For Operations Research And The Management Sciences. "NCAA Conference Creates Schedule Using New Algorithm." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980309041942.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Inbox Is The Latest Gmail Competitor

Google's Inbox Is The Latest Gmail Competitor

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Google's new e-mail app is meant for greater personalization and allows users to better categorize their mail, but Gmail isn't going away just yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Free Math App Is A Teacher's Worst Nightmare

Free Math App Is A Teacher's Worst Nightmare

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — New photo-recognition software from MicroBlink, called PhotoMath, solves linear equations and simple math problems with step-by-step results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins