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A Model and Heuristic for Solving Very Large Item Selection Problems IRT

Swanson, Len; Stocking, Martha L.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Computer Assisted Test Construction, Expert Systems, Item Response Theory (IRT), Linear Programming, Models, Test Construction, Testing Problems


A model for solving very large item selection problems, building on previous work in binary programming applied to test construction, is presented. The model seeks to apply expert test construction practices to situations in which all specifications for item selection cannot necessarily be met. An heuristic for selecting items that satisfy the constraints in the model is also presented. The heuristic is particularly useful for cases in which the size of the test construction problem exceeds the limits of typical state-of-the-art implementations of linear programming algorithms. A variety of test construction problems involving real test specifications and item data from actual test assemblies was investigated using the model and the heuristic. An analysis of these examples is presented. (37pp.)

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