Hybridizations within a graph based hyper-heuristic framework for university timetabling problems

Qu, Rong and Burke, Edmund (2008) Hybridizations within a graph based hyper-heuristic framework for university timetabling problems. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 60 (9). pp. 1273-1285. ISSN 0160-5682

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Abstract

A significant body of recent literature has explored various research directions in hyper-heuristics (which can be thought as heuristics to choose heuristics). In this paper, we extend our previous work to construct a unified graph-based hyper-heuristic (GHH) framework, under which a number of local search-based algorithms (as the high level heuristics) are studied to search upon sequences of low-level graph colouring heuristics. To gain an in-depth understanding on this new framework, we address some fundamental issues concerning neighbourhood structures and characteristics of the two search spaces (namely, the search spaces of the heuristics and the actual solutions). Furthermore, we investigate efficient hybridizations in GHH with local search methods and address issues concerning the exploration of the high-level search and the exploitation ability of the local search. These, to our knowledge, represent entirely novel directions in hyper-heuristics. The efficient hybrid GHH obtained competitive results compared with the best published results for both benchmark course and exam timetabling problems, demonstrating its efficiency and generality across different problem domains. Possible extensions upon this simple, yet general, GHH framework are also discussed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of the Operational Research Society. The definitive publisher-authenticated version: Qu, R. & Burke, E.K., Hybridizations within a graph-based hyper-heuristic framework for university timetabling problems. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 60(9), (2009), 1273–1285 is available online at: http://www.palgrave-ournals.com/jors/journal/v60/n9/abs/jors2008102a.html
Keywords: University timetabling, Graph colouring heuristics, Hyper-heuristics, Tabu Search, Variable Neighbourhood Search, Iterated Local Search
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1057/jors.2008.102
Depositing User: Qu, Rong
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2015 18:13
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 20:18
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/28267

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