A survey on the dynamic scheduling problem in astronomical observations

Abstract : The tasks execution scheduling is a common problem in computer science. The typical problem, as in industrial or computer processing applications, has some restrictions that are inapplicable for certain cases. For example, all available tasks have to be executed at some point, and ambient factors do not affect the execution order. In the astronomical observations field, projects are scheduled as observation blocks, and their execution depends on parameters like science goals priority and target visibility, but is also restricted by external factors: atmospheric conditions, equipment failure, etc. A telescope scheduler is mainly in charge of handling projects, commanding the telescope's high level movement to targets, and starting data acquisition. With the growth of observatories' capacities and maintenance costs, it is now mandatory to optimize the observation time allocation. Currently, at professional observatories there is still strong human intervention dependency, with no fully automatic solution so far. This paper aims to describe the dynamic scheduling problem in astronomical observations, and to provide a survey on existing solutions, opening some new application opportunities for computer science.
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Matias Mora, Mauricio Solar. A survey on the dynamic scheduling problem in astronomical observations. Third IFIP TC12 International Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Held as Part of World Computer Congress (WCC), Sep 2010, Brisbane, Australia. pp.111-120, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-15286-3_11⟩. ⟨hal-01054600⟩

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