Raith (and other tools) scheduling: another idea...

Dan Grupp grupp at snowmass.Stanford.EDU
Thu Jan 29 18:56:13 PST 2004


First, i would like to say that the email forum has been a great process!

Second, I would like to point out that no matter what we do, usage will
still be at 100%. Competition will still arise.

One way to view the problem is that of allocating a scarce resource. We
have only so much time, and all if it will get used up. How do we decide
who gets what? What forum do we use for communication about those
decisions?

The keywords here are communicate, decide, and allocate. The recent emails
about publicly posted requests highlights the need for more communication.
THe present land-grab procedure begs for more communication and active
decision making. it's like cutting a cake for our guests without first
counting how many people want dessert.  Ideally, we would all get together
once a week, put in our requests, and work out a schedule. Clearly a
nightmare.

However, i would like to suggest a solution: software. It could work like
this: by noon on Wednesday, everyone sends in their requests
electronically, and a simple program allocates the time, in an optimized
way. The week's schedule is done. No races. No forgetting to sign up. No
finding 5 hours a week in advance to spend at a computer signing up.  Any
leftover time becomes available to those who haven't capped (i am
guessing we will go with a reduced cap of 10 hrs), or within 24 hrs for
those who have capped.

Optimization details include first allocating small slots (say 4 hrs) to
all. Then in a second pass, if there's more time, additional requests can
be honored. Allocation can also  accomodate indivisible blocks. Blackout
times can be included in schedule requests (meaning "i'd like 4 hours
monday morning, but not from 11-2").

Ideally the schedule is enetered automattically on corall. if not, it can
be posted, and people use the honor system to fill in their allotment. Or
one person can enter it all (good work-study job).

Many, many options!

I looked online for such software, thousands of sites selling various
schdeuling packages. havne't found this one yet. is it out there? is it
hard to write (seems ez to me)?

Summary (so far!):
1)schedule requests submitted electronically.
	a)preferred total time
	b)minimum continuous time
	c)blackout times
2)deadline for schedule submission: noon Wed.
3)allocation:
	a)optimization criteria such as "some to all first".
	b)10 hour cap/wk.
	c)ranked slot requests.
4)Schedule posted Wed noon.
	a)integrated manually
		i)individual users on honor system
		ii)singel individual (such as work-study student)
	b)auto with coral.
5)Remaining time:
	a)open to users at noon Wed who have not capped.
	b)24 hours in advance unscheduled time can be reserved by capped
		users.
6)Your idea here.

If this works, it could be used by other tools in the fab that hit similar
crunches (STS!). No more Schedule Wars!

Is this workable? Is it sufficiently simple? Can it be implemented? Many
questions. Please consider this email as raw material, perhaps a good
starting point for something (that could be?) great.

Thanks,
Dan

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dr. Daniel Grupp, Visiting Scholar
Center for Integrated Systems
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305
(650) 724-6911
FAX:  723-4659
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