In this paper, we show how to efficiently schedule the Brazilian OR conference using a matheuristic approach. The event has traditionally around 300 presentations across a period of 3 to 4 days, and building a schedule for the technical sessions is an arduous task. The proposed algorithm integrates the concepts of iterated local search and simulated annealing with two mathematical programming-based procedures. The idea is to first group the presentations via a clustering procedure, and handle the side constraints in a subproblem via an integer programming formulation. A set partitioning procedure is applied at the end of the algorithm to find the optimal combination of clusters found during the search. We first assess the performance of the method by comparing our results with the dual bounds attained in the literature on two existing sets of artificial instances derived from other two conferences. Next, we executed our approach on the real-life instances derived from different SBPO editions, and compared the solutions with the manual solutions, when available, or with dual bounds found by an exact algorithm from the literature. The results obtained show that the matheuristic is capable of achieving high quality solutions both on the artificial and real-life instances.
Working paper, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, 2021