Introduction

In this article we will look at assignment problems.

As a real world example problem we would like to match a group of students to a set of courses with the following constraints:

The data

We have $n$ students:

n <- 40

And $m$ courses with equal capacity. The capacity can vary among courses though.

m <- 4
capacity <- rep.int(11, m) # all have equal capacities

In addition, each student has three preferences. To model this we have a function that gives us three courses for each student. The first component has perference 1, second 2, and third 3:

set.seed(1234)
preference_data <- lapply(seq_len(n), function(x) sample(seq_len(m), 3))
preferences <- function(student) preference_data[[student]]
preferences(1)

The last component we need is a weight functions to make the model formulation easier. This function gives us the preference weighting for a course and student pair.

# the weight of a student choosing a course
# if the course is not among the preferences, the weight is -100000
weight <- function(student, course) {
  p <- which(as.numeric(course) == preferences(as.numeric(student)))
  as.integer(if (length(p) == 0) {
    -100000
  } else {
    p
  })
}

Some examples:

weight(1, 3)
weight(1, 23) # this was not a choice by student 1, so we give it a big penalty

Let's take a look at our random preferences. We plot the number of votes for each course grouped by the preference (1, 2, 3).

library(ggplot2)
library(purrr)
library(dplyr)
plot_data <- expand.grid(
  course = seq_len(m),
  weight = 1:3
) %>% rowwise() %>% 
  mutate(count = sum(map_int(seq_len(n), ~weight(.x, course) == weight))) %>% 
  mutate(course = factor(course), weight = factor(weight))
ggplot(plot_data, aes(x = course, y = count, fill = weight)) + 
  geom_bar(stat = "identity") + 
  viridis::scale_fill_viridis(discrete = TRUE) + 
  geom_hline(yintercept = 11)

The model

The idea is to introduce a binary variable $x_{i, j}$ that is $1$ if student $i$ is matched to course $j$. As an objective we will try to satisfy preferences according to their weight. So assigning a student to a course with preference 3 gives 3 points and so forth. The model assumes, that the total capacity of the courses is enough for all students.

Here it is in mathematical notation:

$$ \begin{equation} \begin{array}{[email protected]{}ll} \text{max} & \displaystyle\sum\limits_{i=1}^{n}\sum\limits_{j=1}^{m}weight_{i,j} \cdot x_{i, j} & &\ \text{subject to}& \displaystyle\sum\limits_{i=1}^{n} x_{i, j} \leq capacity_j, & j=1 ,\ldots, m&\ & \displaystyle\sum\limits_{j=1}^{m} x_{i, j} = 1, & i=1 ,\ldots, n&\ & x_{i,j} \in {0,1}, &i=1 ,\ldots, n, & j=1 ,\ldots, m \end{array} \end{equation} $$

Or directly in R:

library(rmpk)
library(ROI.plugin.glpk)
model <- MIPModel(ROI_solver("glpk"))

  # 1 iff student i is assigned to course m
x <- model$add_variable(i = 1:n, j = 1:m, type = "binary")

  # maximize the preferences
model$set_objective(sum_expr(weight(i, j) * x[i, j], i = 1:n, j = 1:m), sense = "max")

  # we cannot exceed the capacity of a course
model$add_constraint(sum_expr(x[i, j], i = 1:n) <= capacity[j], j = 1:m) 

  # each student needs to be assigned to one course
model$add_constraint(sum_expr(x[i, j], j = 1:m) == 1, i = 1:n)
model

Solve the model

We will use glpk to solve the above model.

model$optimize()

We solved the problem with an objective value of r model$objective_value().

matching <- model$get_variable_value(x[i, j]) %>%
  filter(value > .9) %>%  
  select(i, j) %>% 
  rowwise() %>% 
  mutate(weight = weight(as.numeric(i), as.numeric(j)), 
         preferences = paste0(preferences(as.numeric(i)), collapse = ",")) %>% ungroup
head(matching)
matching %>% 
  group_by(weight) %>% 
  summarise(count = n())

r nrow(filter(matching, weight == 3)) students got their top preference. r nrow(filter(matching, weight == 2)) students were assigned to their second choice and r nrow(filter(matching, weight == 1)) students got their least preferable course.

The course assignment now looks like this:

plot_data <- matching %>% 
  mutate(course = factor(j), weight = factor(weight, levels = c(1, 2, 3))) %>% 
  group_by(course, weight) %>% 
  summarise(count = n()) %>% 
  tidyr::complete(weight, fill = list(count = 0))
ggplot(plot_data, aes(x = course, y = count, fill = weight)) + 
  geom_bar(stat = "identity") + 
  viridis::scale_fill_viridis(discrete = TRUE) + 
  geom_hline(yintercept = 11)

Feedback

Do you have any questions, ideas, comments? Or did you find a mistake? Let's discuss on Github.



dirkschumacher/rmpk documentation built on Jan. 13, 2020, 4:48 a.m.