23.09.2015

Since 2009, ZIB is assisting the Scientific Events Department of FU Berlin in optimizing the class assignment for the KinderUni. This year, almost 3,000 children from 133 classes wanted to visit one of the 89 courses offered. This demand exceeded the 2667 places that would have been available if class sizes matched exactly the course sizes, which was unfortunately not the case. For example, if all classes had 25 pupils, and a course offered 60 places, a slack of 10 places that can't be used is unavoidable. Finding the best possible assignment of classes to courses according to criteria such as maximizing the number of pupils, classes, etc. then becomes a mathematical optimization problem, a so-called "multiple knapsack problem". ZIB has developed the freely available KUniKIP tool for this purpose. Boris Grimm used it to compute the assignment for this year's KinderUni last Thursday and Friday. "Dealing with input data generated by humans was definitely a challenging part of the optimization process.", was his resume. "The optimization worked as elegant as never before this year", said Wieland WeiƟ of FU, who is responsible for this event.