The panel assignment problem can be defined as follows. Given:
  • the number of available reviewers,
  • the number of proposals in the panel,
  • the number of reviews needed for each proposal, and
  • a matrix of preferences for each reviewer on each proposal,

we want to determine an assignment of reviewers to proposals on the panel so as to optimize the sum of the preferences for each reviewers assigned proposals.

In addition, there are several requirements that must be met as follows:

  • each reviewer must be assigned to approximately the same number of proposals,
  • each proposal must be reviewed the same number of times,
  • reviewers that have a "conflict of interest" (COI) with a proposal must not be assigned to that proposal, and
  • each proposal has three or four distinct positions (LEAD, SCRIBE, REV1, REV2) and each position must be filled exactly once for each proposal and each reviewer must be assigned to each position approximately the same number of times. In addition, the assignment of reviewers to positions should follow the preferences of each reviewer for a proposal so that the preference of the reviewer assigned to the LEAD position for a proposal is less than the preference of the reviewer assigned to the SCRIBE position. Similarly, the preference of the reviewer assigned to the SCRIBE position for a proposal is less than the preference of the reviewer assigned to the REV1 position and the preference of the reviewer assigned to the REV1 position for a proposal is less than the preference of the reviewer assigned to the REV2 position.

Note that the panel assignment problem can be formulated as a linear integer programming problem. For more information, please refer to the following publication:

Stacy L. Janak, Martin Taylor, and Christodoulos A. Floudas, Maria Burka, and T. J. Mountziaris.
Novel and Effective Integer Optimization Approach for the NSF Panel-Assignment Problem: A Multiresource and Preference-Constrained Generalized Assignment Problem
.
Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 2006, 45, 258-265.


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Online solver by Marty Taylor. "Novel and Effective Integer Optimization Approach for the NSF Panel-Assignment Problem: A Multiresource and Preference-Constrained
Generalized Assignment Problem". Stacy L. Janak, Martin S. Taylor, and Christodoulos A. Floudas, Maria Burka, and T. J. Mountziaris. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 2006, 45, 258-265.

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