An Integer Linear Programming Solution to the Telescope Network Scheduling Problem [IMA]

Telescope networks are gaining traction due to their promise of higher resource utilization than single telescopes and as enablers of novel astronomical observation modes. However, as telescope network sizes increase, the possibility of scheduling them completely or even semi-manually disappears. In an earlier paper, a step towards software telescope scheduling was made with the specification of the Reservation formalism, through the use of which astronomers can express their complex observation needs and preferences. In this paper we build on that work. We present a solution to the discretized version of the problem of scheduling a telescope network. We derive a solvable integer linear programming (ILP) model based on the Reservation formalism. We show computational results verifying its correctness, and confirm that our Gurobi-based implementation can address problems of realistic size. Finally, we extend the ILP model to also handle the novel observation requests that can be specified using the more advanced Compound Reservation formalism.

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S. Lampoudi, E. Saunders and J. Eastman
Thu, 26 Mar 15

Comments: Accepted for publication in the refereed conference proceedings of the International Conference on Operations Research and Enterprise Systems (ICORES 2015)