- ItemA process for automated class scheduling at Ashesi(2014-04)At the beginning of every semester, the registrar at Ashesi University goes through the laborious task of either manually or semi-automatically developing a course schedule. Very often, after the schedule has been developed, conflicts are realized in the various schedules. Conflicts are categorized into student, lecturer and room conflicts. An open source software, FET was recently used by the university to help develop schedules for the courses. This project is an attempt to review the ways in which the automation process can be enhanced in order to potentially reduce the conflicts faced. At the heart of automated course scheduling is the algorithm being used. Any effort made at enhancing the scheduling process in Ashesi will require an efficient algorithm. This paper begins with a background on scheduling, an extensive research on existing approaches and algorithms follows. The algorithms reviewed include the Multi-Agent System approach, Sequential methods, Constraint Based Methods, Genetic Algorithms, Simulated Annealing, Particle Swarm optimization and Tabu Search. The algorithm used in the FET software is also reviewed. These techniques are compared based on their computational time, ease of implementation, solution quality and constraint handling. Based on the literature, it is realized that Particle Swarm Optimization is potentially the best algorithm with respect to the set criteria. A basic version of the Particle Swarm Algorithm is implemented and tested and the results compared with the results from testing the current FET software algorithm, recursive swapping. The outcome implies that recursive swapping, can produce good solutions but Particle Swarm Optimization is easier to implement.
- ItemModeling wait times at Ashesi's cafeteria(2013-04)Waiting and delays have a negative impact on business as it leads to loss of repeat business and customers. Operations managers are constantly seeking ways to reduce and possibly curb delays. This study looks at the feasibility of modeling as a means to curb delays and improve overall service delivery. This study asks one main question: Whether the process at Akornor can be modeled to provide management enough information to enhance decision making. Using observation and recording, data from Akornor was gathered on four different days. Fifty questionnaires were also administered to customers of Akornor to obtain customer related information. Findings from this study showed that 32% of customers who had to wait were most likely to leave and find other alternatives. Other findings showed that Akornor has average cashier service time of 0.69 minutes for both customers on the meal plan and customers who are not on any plan with Akornor. However, customers on staff discount have an average cashier service time of 0.72 minutes. Cumulative average serving time was 2.34 minutes. Akornor can be modeled but there will be difficulty in obtaining data on arrival rates. However, information on serve time and number of people in a queue is easier to obtain.
- ItemThe maritime industry of Ghana: Role of our ports, challenges and key lessons from successful maritime nations(2015-4)Ghana as a nation largely enjoys natural resources endowment. Resources include gold, cocoa, bauxite, diamond and (in more recent times) oil. However, one resource that is largely understated and underplayed in terms of importance and role is Maritime Resource Endowment (MRE). Maritime Resource Endowment is the proximity of a country to a coastline which allows for the presence of a maritime industry. This study aims to identify the role of our ports in the growth and development of the Ghanaian economy. The main aim of this research was to identify major challenges being faced by the maritime sector. A comparative study was also employed using successful maritime examples that faced similar challenges and were able to overcome them. This study gathered information through the use of archival and literature analysis. Certain major stakeholders were not left out as their views were culled through semi structured interviews. Data collected through interviews and literature analysis was merged to come out with the findings of this research. From the research done, countries like Singapore and The Netherlands have taken certain steps such as huge investment in human resource and infrastructural developments. This study in conclusion highly recommends the methods employed by the developed maritime nations i.e. Singapore and the Netherlands to the relevant Ghanaian authorities as a source of framework in drawing up effective maritime policies for the country.
- ItemAn investigation into the buying behavior of young women in tertiary institutions for fashionable clothing: case of Ashesi University College and University of Ghana(2014-04)The aim of the research was to investigate into the buying behavior of fashionable clothing amongst young women in the tertiary institutions. Women are however considered to have a unique self-image and the drivers of fashion in the world (Tamboli, 2008). The theoretical frameworks used for this study were the five-stage model decision process (need recognition or problem recognition, information search, evaluating alternatives, product choice and outcomes) and the major factors that influence consumer behavior. Surveys based on these theories were used in collecting data from respondents from Ashesi University College and University of Ghana. This research adopted an exploratory and descriptive research where data was collected through interviews and the use of questionnaires. Family and Friends were found to be the major factors that influence a young Ghanaian woman to purchase fashionable clothing. Three most important criteria for these young women in selecting fashionable clothing are Comfort, Style and Style. Findings from this study revealed that though young women are not trendsetters in fashion, they like to buy fashionable clothing.