Should We Stop Developing Heuristics and Only Rely on Mixed Integer Programming Solvers in Automated Test Assembly? A Rejoinder to van der Linden and Li (2016)

Pei-Hua Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This rejoinder responds to the commentary by van der Linden and Li entiled “Comment on Three-Element Item Selection Procedures for Multiple Forms Assembly: An Item Matching Approach” on the article “Three-Element Item Selection Procedures for Multiple Forms Assembly: An Item Matching Approach” by Chen. Van der Linden and Li made a strong statement calling for the cessation of test assembly heuristics development, and instead encouraged embracing mixed integer programming (MIP). This article points out the nondeterministic polynomial (NP)–hard nature of MIP problems and how solutions found using heuristics could be useful in an MIP context. Although van der Linden and Li provided several practical examples of test assembly supporting their view, the examples ignore the cases in which a slight change of constraints or item pool data might mean it would not be possible to obtain solutions as quickly as before. The article illustrates the use of heuristic solutions to improve both the performance of MIP solvers and the quality of solutions. Additional responses to the commentary by van der Linden and Li are included.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-240
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Psychological Measurement
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2017

Keywords

  • MIP solvers
  • automated test assembly
  • item matching
  • mixed integer programming
  • multiple parallel forms

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