A Comparison of Constraint Programming and Mixed-Integer Programming for Automated Test-Form Generation

Jie Li (Corresponding Author), Wim J. van der Linden (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The final step of the typical process of developing educational and psychological tests is to place the selected test items in a formatted form. The step involves the grouping and ordering of the items to meet a variety of formatting constraints. As this activity tends to be time-intensive, the use of mixed-integer programming (MIP) has been proposed to automate it. The goal of this article is to show how constraint programming (CP) can be used as an alternative to automate test-form generation problems with a large variety of formatting constraints, and how it compares with MIP-based form generation as for its models, solutions, and running times. Two empirical examples are presented: (i) automated generation of a computerized fixed-form; and (ii) automated generation of shadow tests for multistage testing. Both examples show that CP works well with feasible solutions and running times likely to be better than that for MIP-based applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-456
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of educational measurement
Volume55
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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