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Creating Scenarios

Although the process for your organization might vary, a typical approach for using scenarios to optimize room assignments is to first create a pre-assignment scenario to partially complete the assignment of rooms to courses for a term. You would then copy this pre-assignment scenario and edit it as needed to make an optimization scenario, and then run this optimization scenario to continue with the assignment of rooms to courses. You can create as many optimization scenarios as needed, either by copying an existing scenario or creating one “from scratch.”

To create a pre-assignment scenario

1. On the EMS Campus menu bar, click Academic Planning > Courses > Optimization Scenarios. The Scenarios window opens. This window lists all the scenarios (pre-assignment and optimization) that are currently configured in your EMS database.

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2. On the Domain dropdown list, select the domain for which you are creating the scenario, and on the Term dropdown list, select the term.

3. Click New. The Scenario dialog box opens. The Scenario tab is the active tab.

4. In the Description field, enter a name or description for the scenario, for example,
Pre-assignment.

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The description can be a maximum of 30 characters, including spaces.

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Because all assignments in a pre-assignment scenario are manual, you do not need to set any weighted criteria or exclude any rooms.

5. Click OK. The Scenario dialog box closes. You return to the Scenarios window with the newly created scenario automatically selected.

6. Click Preassign. A message opens informing you that preassigning will set this term to Read Only and asking you if it is OK to continue.

7. Click Yes. The message closes and an Initializing Scenario progress dialog box opens. After the scenario is initialized, the progress dialog box closes, and the Preassign Rooms window opens. This window lists all the courses for the selected term and domain. Any courses that were previously pre-assigned are listed as Locked In.

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8. Optionally, do one or both of the following; otherwise, go to Step 9.

• To view a course in the Course Navigator, double-click the course.

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For detailed information about working with the Course Navigator, see Using the Course Navigator”.

• To filter this list, do one or more of the following:

• On the Academic Unit dropdown list, select an academic unit.

• On the Subject Dropdown list, select a subject.

• At the bottom of the window, select Unassigned Only.

• Click on a column heading to sort by the heading.

9. If you do not want to copy pre-assignments that you have carried out in a previous scenario, continue to “Assigning Rooms” on page 517; otherwise, do the following:

• Click Copy Locations to open the Import Room Assignments dialog box.

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• Select the appropriate Domain and Term from which you want to copy the pre-assignments.

• Select the appropriate scenario to copy, and then click Select.

Where possible, the locations are copied for the courses that are displayed in the Preassign Rooms window. If a location was successfully copied for a course, then (unassigned) is no longer displayed in the Locations column. Instead, the copied room assignment is displayed. If a location could not be copied for a course, then (unassigned) is still displayed in the Locations column.

10. Continue to Assigning Rooms.”

To create an optimization scenario

1. On the EMS Campus menu bar, click Academic Planning > Courses > Optimization Scenarios. The Scenarios window opens. This window lists all the scenarios (pre-assignment and optimization) that are currently configured in your EMS database.

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2. On the Domain dropdown list, select the domain for which you are creating the scenario, and on the Term dropdown list, select the term.

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The remainder of this procedure describes how to create an optimization scenario “from scratch.” You can also create an optimization scenario by copying an existing scenario. Select the scenario that you want to copy, and then click Copy. Remember, a common approach for using scenarios to optimize room assignments is to first create a pre-assignment scenario to partially complete the assignment of rooms to courses for a term. You would then copy this pre-assignment scenario and edit it as needed to make an optimization scenario.

3. Click New. The Scenario dialog box opens. The Scenario tab is the active tab.

4. In the Description field, enter a name or description for the scenario, for example, Scenario A.

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The description can be a maximum of 30 characters, including spaces.

5. Do one or more of the following to set the weighted criteria:

• By default, all preferences are included in the scenario. Clear the Include option for the preferences that you are excluding from the weighted criteria.

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Only the features that were selected during Set Preferences mode are displayed—this is not an exhaustive list of all your features.

• For the preferences that you are including, use the Importance slider bar to specify a weight for each preference, or enter a number in the Importance field.

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Weights are arbitrary numbers that simply indicate the relative importance of one criterion to another. The importances do not have to add up to a particular “whole,” for example, 100. For a detailed discussion about setting weighted criteria, see About Creating Scenarios and Optimization”.

• Some preferences might have been marked as Required by some academic units during the Set Preferences mode. Select Ignore Requirements as needed for any and all of the preferences.

6. Open the Excluded Rooms tab, and specify the rooms that should not be assigned to a course in this scenario (for example, rooms that have previously been assigned using a pre-assignment scenario) by doing the following:

• On the Building dropdown list, select (all) buildings, or select a specific building.

• On the Room Type dropdown list, leave the default value of (all), or select a specific room type.

• In the Available list, select the room, or CTRL-click to select multiple rooms, and then click the Move (>) button to move the rooms to the Selected list.

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If needed, you can repeat these steps for specific buildings until you have selected all the rooms in specific buildings that should be excluded.

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If a room assignment has been previously “locked in” on a course, the room assignment is maintained for the course, even if the room is excluded from the scenario.

7. Click OK. The Scenario dialog box closes. You return to the Scenarios window with the newly created scenario automatically selected.

8. Click Optimize. The Run Scenario dialog box opens. This dialog box lists all the academic units that have courses for the selected term and domain.

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9. In the Available list, select the academic unit for which to run the optimization scenario, or CTRL-click to select multiple units, and then click the Move (>) button to move the units to the Selected List.

10. Click Run. A message opens informing you that optimizing will set this term to Read Only for the selected academic units and asking you if it is OK to continue.

11. Click Yes. The message closes and an Initializing Scenario progress dialog box opens. After the scenario is initialized, the progress dialog box closes. An Optimization Results dialog box opens on top of the Resolve Room Assignments window. This dialog box indicates that the optimization was complete and it also indicates the number of courses assigned, the percent of total courses assigned, and the number of exceptions (the number of courses that could not be assigned).

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At any time, if you need to review this information, click Print > Scenario Results.

12. Click OK. The Optimization Results dialog box closes and the Resolve Room Assignments window is now the active window. By default, this window lists only those courses for which rooms could not be assigned. Courses can remain unassigned for the following reasons:

• Conflicts with another course: A course or courses that were ranked higher in preference criteria was assigned the room that this course required. Select the course to review the list of conflicting courses.

• No space can hold course: The course had requirements that were so specific, no room was available that met the criteria either because the room does not exist, or it was excluded from the scenario.

Resolve Room Assignments window

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13. Optionally, you can do one or more of the following:

• If a course is unassigned because of a conflict, click once on the course to open a Conflicts tab in the lower part of the window. This tab lists all the courses that are in conflict with the selected course.

• To view a course in the Course Navigator, double-click the course.

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For detailed information about working with the Course Navigator, see Using the Course Navigator”.

• To filter this list, do one or more of the following:

• On the Academic Unit dropdown list, select an academic unit.

• On the Subject Dropdown list, select a subject.

• Click on a column heading to sort by the heading.

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You can also clear the Exceptions Only option at the bottom of the window to view a list of all courses (assigned and unassigned) for the selected domain and term. (Courses that were pre- assigned are listed as Locked In).

14. Continue to Assigning Rooms.”

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If you are carrying out incremental optimization by academic unit, you must repeat this procedure for every academic unit that is to be optimized.