How many preferences?
Is there a preference for the preferences?
Meaning it is most important to be in a specific building and non-smoking?
I would suggest that the requests be limited to one level one preference
two level two preferences, and all others would be level 3.
Just off the cuff.
I believe there are 5 different preferences for the student to choose from. There is a preference for the preference. For instance, our example student might say being with a fellow non-smoking room is non-negotiable, but having a clean roommate might be the least important and be the one she would be willing to yield on. I can go for your suggestion of maxing at all other levels beyond first and second preference preference being three.
But, that leads me back to my original question of how to get FileMaker to take matching students, pair them up, and assign them to an empty room without me having to review each name one by one and manually assigning someone to the room.
This is definitely not the simplest project to tackle!
The hardest part is figuring out your "matching preferences logic". That's where "preferences for the preferences" complicates things. If the only matches permitted were "perfect matches" this would be fairly easy. It's when you start working on matching students up whose preferences don't perfectly correspond, that things get difficult.
A "perfect" match could be done with a relationship that uses multiple fields and/or a computed key that merges the preferences into some kind of code. But I'm getting stuck on the "partial" match part of the problem.
Well, let's take it one step at a time. Can someone suggest a method/logic needed to pair up exact matches. Let's say 5 categories: Non/Smoking, Noisy/Quiet, Clean/Messy, Night Owl/Early Riser, and a preference for a building. We want the system to find a match and then assign them to an open space in a preferred building. Thoughts?
Thanks for the help everyone! Our department has a system that is pretty unrealiable, but we don't have the bucks to purchase a new one. I'm really hoping my FileMaker skills and your help will help us beat this one.
This is just a stab in the dark, and I'm not offering a concrete solution, but it seems to me a "score" system might work. You obviously already have a preferences table. The student's rating of the "wish list" combined with exact matches in the various five categories could be made to evaluate as a number or "score. As a matter of fact the "preferences of preferences" exact match between students could evaluate as well. Higher number = better "match"?
I agree, numbers for preferences would probably be easiest. Unfortunately, I'm still not getting the core of my question answered. I can't figure out what function of fileMaker to use to do this. Is it a calcution? If so, what is the calcuation? Are there script steps to use? If so, suggest what they could be.