• Embedded Local Search Approaches for Routing Optimisation.

      Cowling, Peter I.; Keuthen, R. (2005)
      This paper presents a new class of heuristics which embed an exact algorithm within the framework of a local search heuristic. This approach was inspired by related heuristics which we developed for a practical problem arising in electronics manufacture. The basic idea of this heuristic is to break the original problem into small subproblems having similar properties to the original problem. These subproblems are then solved using time intensive heuristic approaches or exact algorithms and the solution is re-embedded into the original problem. The electronics manufacturing problem where we originally used the embedded local search approach, contains the Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP) as a major subproblem. In this paper we further develop our embedded search heuristic, HyperOpt, and investigate its performance for the TSP in comparison to other local search based approaches. We introduce an interesting hybrid of HyperOpt and 3-opt for asymmetric TSPs which proves more efficient than HyperOpt or 3-opt alone. Since pure local search seldom yields solutions of high quality we also investigate the performance of the approaches in an iterated local search framework. We examine iterated approaches of Large-Step Markov Chain and Variable Neighbourhood Search type and investigate their performance when used in combination with HyperOpt. We report extensive computational results to investigate the performance of our heuristic approaches for asymmetric and Euclidean Travelling Salesman Problems. While for the symmetric TSP our approaches yield solutions of comparable quality to 2-opt heuristic, the hybrid methods proposed for asymmetric problems seem capable of compensating for the time intensive embedded heuristic by finding tours of better average quality than iterated 3-opt in many less iterations and providing the best heuristic solutions known, for some instance classes.