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Simulation of the WAC 2003 Football Schedule

(Chris Genda, Loan Ngoyen, Valerie Vlahos, John Williams, 2000)

The Western Athletic Conference (WAC) consists of ten universities in the western and southwestern United States of America. It stretches from the easternmost, Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana, to the westernmost, University of Hawaii in Honolulu, Hawaii. This presents problems for the conference, as it must schedule each year's football schedule while taking each school's travel budget into consideration.

For the 2003 football season, our objective was to minimize the number of miles that each team would have to travel, so as to try and be as fair as possible to each university. Also, the WAC scheduling requirements must be met in the solving of this problem. Using a linear modeling software package, CPLEX, we came up with a solution, which minimized the number of travel miles for each team. This basic formulation resulted in the following solution, 42,987 miles total for all schools, with an average of 4299 miles for each school and a standard deviation of 2329 miles. We then ran a MiniMax procedure, which would correct the large deviation in the schools' travel miles. This solution yielded 51,573 total miles, with an average of 5157 miles and standard deviation of 1254 miles.

Richard S. Barr
Fri Feb 17 16:09:51 CST 2006