Background: Prediction of students' academic performance is essential for systems emphasizing students' greater success. The results can largely lead to increase in the quality of the educating and learning. Through the application of data mining, useful and innovative patterns can be extracted from the educational data.
Methods: In this paper, a new metaheuristic algorithm, combination of simulated annealing and genetic algorithms, is proposed for predicting students’ academic performance in educational data mining. Although metaheuristic algorithms are one of the best options for discovering the hidden relationships between data in data science, they do not separately perform well in accurate prediction of students’ academic performance. Therefore, the proposed method integrates the advantages of both genetic and simulated annealing algorithms. The genetic algorithm is applied to explore new solutions, while simulated annealing is used to increase the exploitation power. By using this combination, the proposed algorithm has been able to predict the students’ academic performance with high accuracy.
Results: The efficiency of the proposed algorithm is evaluated on five different educational data sets, including two data sets of students of Shahid Rajaee University of Tehran and three online educational data sets. Our experimental results show and accuracy improvement of the proposed algorithm in comparison to the four similar metaheuristic and five popular classification methods respectively.
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