Google has launched a new labs development for its Google Calendar program designed to help find the ideal meeting time between users by analysing participants’ calendar schedules for clashes and optimum meeting times.
Google software engineer David Marmaros developed Smart Rescheduler as a result of feedback from users of Google Calendar who said that they often have to spend large amounts of time cross-referencing calendars to schedule meetings.
He explained in a blog posting that the new program would help fix this by using algorithms similar to its search engine to make it easier to set up meetings.
"If you're searching for something on the web, you don't just start randomly visiting pages looking for relevant content, you use a search engine. So we decided to apply some of Google's search experience to the problem of scheduling," he said.
"We experimented with ranking algorithms to return the most relevant meeting times based on criteria like attendees, schedule complexity, conference rooms, and time zones. The algorithm then returns a ranked set of the best candidate dates and times."
Marmaros explained that searches can be refined to make people optional, change the meeting duration, ignore certain conflicts, or specify earliest and latest times that are acceptable.
He added that the process is completely automated but was still in an experimental stage and that Google was hoping for feedback and ideas on the program.
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