Metaheuristics "In the Large"



Swan J, Adriaensen S, Brownlee AEI, Hammond K, Johnson CG, Kheiri A, Krawiec F, Merelo JJ, Minku LL, Ozcan E, Pappa GL, García-Sánchez P, Sorensen K, Voß S, Wagner M & White DR (2022) Metaheuristics "In the Large". European Journal of Operational Research, 297 (2), pp. 393-406.

Following decades of sustained improvement, metaheuristics are one of the great success stories of optimization research. However, in order for research in metaheuristics to avoid fragmentation and a lack of reproducibility, there is a pressing need for stronger scientific and computational infrastructure to support the development, analysis and comparison of new approaches. To this end, we present the vision and progress of the "Metaheuristics 'In the Large' " project. The conceptual uderpinnings of the project are: truly extensible algorithm templates that support reuse without modification, white box problem descriptions that provide generic support for the injection of domain specific knowledge, and remotely accessible frameworks, components and problems that will enhance reproducibility and accelerate the field's progress. We argue that, via principled choice of infrastructure support, the field can pursue a higher level of scientific enquiry. We describe our vision and report on progress, showing how the adoption of common protocols for all metaheuris-tics can help liberate the potential of the field, easing the exploration of the design space of metaheuristics.

Evolutionary Computation; Operational Research; Heuristic design; Heuristic methods; Architecture; Frameworks; Interoperability

European Journal of Operational Research: Volume 297, Issue 2

FundersEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Publication date31/03/2022
Publication date online30/06/2021
Date accepted by journal25/05/2021

People (1)


Dr Sandy Brownlee
Dr Sandy Brownlee

Senior Lecturer in Computing Science, Computing Science and Mathematics - Division