Adaptive operator search for the capacitated arc routine problem

Consoli, Pietro A. (2018). Adaptive operator search for the capacitated arc routine problem. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Evolutionary Computation approaches for Combinatorial Optimization have been successfully proposed for a plethora of different NP-Hard Problems. This research area has achieved acknowledgeable results and obtained remarkable progresses, and it has ultimately established itself as one of the most studied in AI. Yet, predicting the approximation ability of Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs) on novel problem instances remains a difficult easy task. As a consequence, their application in a real-world optimization context is reduced, as EAs are often considered not reliable and mature enough to be adopted in an industrial scenario. This thesis proposes new approaches to endow such meta-heuristics with a mechanism that would allow them to extract information during the search and to adaptively use such information in order to modify their behaviour and ultimately improve their performances. We consider the case study of the Capacitated Arc Routing Problem (CARP), to demonstrate the effectiveness of adaptive search techniques in a complex problem deeply connected with real-world scenarios. In particular, the main contributions of this thesis are:

1. An investigation of the adoption of a Parameter Tuning mechanism to adaptively choose the crossover operator that is used during the search;

2. The study of a novel Adaptive Operator Selection technique based on the use of Fitness Landscape Analysis techniques and on Online Learning;

3. A novel approach based on Knowledge Incorporation focusing on the reuse of information learned from the execution of a meta-heuristic on past instances, that is later used to improve the performances on the newly encountered.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Computer Science
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science


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