Subject: Re: Scheduling solutions?
From: Mark Topinka <>
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2004 14:21:22 -0800

Hi all-
       Thanks to John, Hendrik, James, and John for the ideas so far on 
this issue.  It is indeed next to impossible to sanely schedule time on the 
Raith these days.  I have a proposal which I believe is simple to put into 
place, takes nobody any extra time, and could be started 
immediately...   How about if the rule becomes no more than 10 hours of 
signup per person for the next 7-day (rolling) period.  As soon as you 
start one block of time, that time comes off your total and you can sign up 
for more time.  This would be a self-policiing rule, but if one notices 
anybody violating it, one could contact James and James could remove the 
offending reservations (I would propose not All of that persons 
reservations be removed, just the most distant offending ones).  I took a 
quick look at the upcoming week, and this policy would free up about 35 
hours of time in the next week.  It might slightly slow down 
super-hard-core users, but it would allow less intensive users the 
occasional use they need.  Just a proposal...  There is no perfect solution 
(short of maybe buying five more Raiths), but this might be a decent 
compromise for the time being...  What think y'all? -Mark

At 12:03 PM 1/22/2004 -0800, Hendrik Bluhm wrote:
>I like the idea of having a request based time allocation system which
>takes into account how much time people had on the machine recently,
>but implementing this via a human agent who sits in front of coral seems
>inefficient, unflexible and probably also unreliable. However, it
>should be possible to automate this by hosting a web interface on the
>snf homepage.
>The procedure could roughly look like this:
>people request time some 10 days in advance, specifying
>preferred/impossible time of the day/week, minimum length etc.
>8 days ahead, those requests are assigned a priority based on
>recent machine use (to be obtained from the coral database, reflecting
>actual use) and granted according to the priority score.
>People could then have 2 days to transfer the allocated slots onto coral,
>which would require that everyone agrees not to make reservations
>during this time.
>Less than 5 days in advance, any free spot on coral would be available.
>Of course, the whole system can be refined and supplemented by additional
>rules regarding cancellation etc, e.g. canceling less than 24 hrs
>in advance counts as actual beam time when calculating priorities.
>Implementing this would of course require some cooperation with the
>SNF admins, but should not be to hard. I would be willing to work on the
>scheduling algorithm, but would greatly appreciate an help regarding how
>to set up a web interface.
>The same system could in principle be used for other equipment
>(innotec, stsetch?, etc.), and if it turns out to be very useful, it could
>be incorporated directly in coral one day. (Not by us, though)
>Hendrik Bluhm
>Department of Physics
>Stanford University
>Work adress:                    Moler Lab
>                                 Lab. for Advanced Materials
>Phone: (650) 723-4012           McCullough Bldg.
>Fax:   (650) 725-2189           476  Lomita Mall
>                                 Stanford, CA 94305