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ORSA Journal on Computing

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Tabu Search—Part II

by Fred Glover


This is the second half of a two part series devoted to the tabu search metastrategy for optimization problems. Part I introduced the fundamental ideas of tabu search as an approach for guiding other heuristics to overcome the limitations of local optimality both in a deterministic and a probabilistic framework. Part I also reported successful applications from a wide range of settings, in which tabu search frequently made it possible to obtain higher quality solutions than previously obtained with competing strategies, generally with less computational effort. Part II, in this issue, examines refinements and more advanced aspects of tabu search. Following a brief review of notation, Part II introduces new dynamic strategies for managing tabu lists, allowing fuller exploitation of underlying evaluation functions. In turn, the elements of staged search and structured move sets are characterized, which bear on the issue of finiteness. Three ways of applying tabu search to the solution of integer programming problems are then described, providing connections also to certain nonlinear programming applications. Finally, the paper concludes with a brief survey of new applications of tabu search that have occurred since the developments reported in Part I. Together with additional comparisons with other methods on a wide body of problems, these include results of parallel processing implementations and the use of tabu search in settings ranging from telecommunications to neural networks.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 May 2011 11:55

ORSA Journal on Computing

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Tabu Search—Part I

by Fred Glover


This paper presents the fundamental principles underlying tabu search as a strategy for combinatorial optimization problems. Tabu search has achieved impressive practical successes in applications ranging from scheduling and computer channel balancing to cluster analysis and space planning, and more recently has demonstrated its value in treating classical problems such as the traveling salesman and graph coloring problems. Nevertheless, the approach is still in its infancy, and a good deal remains to be discovered about its most effective forms of implementation and about the range of problems for which it is best suited. This paper undertakes to present the major ideas and findings to date, and to indicate challenges for future research. Part I of this study indicates the basic principles, ranging from the short-term memory process at the core of the search to the intermediate and long term memory processes for intensifying and diversifying the search. Included are illustrative data structures for implementing the tabu conditions (and associated aspiration criteria) that underlie these processes. Part I concludes with a discussion of probabilistic tabu search and a summary of computational experience for a variety of applications. Part II of this study (to appear in a subsequent issue) examines more advanced considerations, applying the basic ideas to special settings and outlining a dynamic move structure to insure finiteness. Part II also describes tabu search methods for solving mixed integer programming problems and gives a brief summary of additional practical experience, including the use of tabu search to guide other types of processes, such as those of neural networks.


Last Updated on Friday, 27 May 2011 11:57

Computers & Operations Research

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Metaheuristics for the dynamic stochastic dial-a-ride problem with expected return transports

by M. Schilde, K.F. Doerner and R.F. Hartl


The problem of transporting patients or elderly people has been widely studied in literature and is usually modeled as a dial-a-ride problem (DARP). In this paper we analyze the corresponding problem arising in the daily operation of the Austrian Red Cross. This nongovernmental organization is the largest organization performing patient transportation in Austria. The aim is to design vehicle routes to serve partially dynamic transportation requests using a fixed vehicle fleet. Each request requires transportation from a patient's home location to a hospital (outbound request) or back home from the hospital (inbound request). Some of these requests are known in advance. Some requests are dynamic in the sense that they appear during the day without any prior information. Finally, some inbound requests are stochastic.
Last Updated on Friday, 27 May 2011 11:51

Journal of heuristics

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Path-relinking intensification methods for stochastic local search algorithms

by Celso C. Ribeiro and Mauricio G. C. Resende


Path-relinking is major enhancement to heuristic search methods for solving combinatorial optimization problems, leading to significant improvements in both solution quality and running times. We review its fundamentals and implementation strategies, as well as advanced hybridizations with more elaborate metaheuristic schemes such as tabu search, GRASP, genetic algorithms and scatter search. Numerical examples are discussed and algorithms compared based on their run time distributions.
Last Updated on Friday, 27 May 2011 11:48

EU/ME board and organization

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Organization of EU/ME

EU/ME currently has two Sections, a General section and a Variable Neighborhood Search section (VNS Section).

General Section

Andreas Reinholz
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German Aerospace

Marc Sevaux
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Université de Bretagne-Sud
2 rue de Saint Maudé
56321 Lorient

Kenneth Sörensen
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Universiteit Antwerpen
Faculteit Toegepaste Economische Wetenschappen
Prinsstraat 13
2000 Antwerpen

Variable Neighborhood Search Section

Nenad Mladenovic
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Brunel University
School of Mathematics
West London, Uxbridge
Middlesex, UB8 3PH
United Kingdom
Abraham Duarte
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Universidad Rey Juan Carlos.
E.T.S. Ingeniería Informática.
Dept. Ciencias de la Computación.
(Dept. of Computer Science).
Room 235. Ed. Dept. II
C/ Tulipán s/n.
28933 Mótoles, Madrid - Spain

Former members

  • Christelle Wynants (B)
  • Andreas Fink (D)
  • Georg Kliewer (D)
  • Cesar Rego (USA)
  • Michel Gendreau (CA)
  • Marino Widmer (CH)
  • Jorge Pinho de Sousa (PT)
  • Toshihide Ibaraki (JP)
  • Richard Hartl (AT)
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 November 2013 15:19


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Past EU/MEetings

EU/ME organizes a yearly EU/MEeting, a successful series of workshops.It is usually dedicated to a specific theme and done in association with a local research group or research partner.

  1. EU/MEeting 2001 with UK Local Search Group (London, UK).
  2. EU/MEeting 2002 on Multi-Objective Metaheuristics (Paris, France).
  3. EU/MEeting 2003 on Real-Life Applications of Metaheuristics (Antwerp, Belgium).
  4. EU/MEeting 2004 on Design and Evaluation of Advanced Hybrid Meta-Heuristics (Nottingham, UK).
  5. EU/MEeting 2005 on Metaheuristics and Large Scale Optimization (Vilnius, Lithuania).
  6. EU/MEeting 2006 on Combination of Metaheuristics and LS with Constraint Programming techniques (Nantes, France).
  7. EU/MEeting 2006 on Adaptive, Self-adaptive and Multi-level Metaheuristics (Málaga, Spain).
  8. EU/MEeting 2007 on Applications of Metaheuristics in the Service Industry (Stuttgart, Germany).
  9. EU/MEeting 2008 on Metaheuristics in Logistics and Routing (Troyes, France).
  10. EU/MEeting 2009 on Discussing the future (Porto, Portugal).
  11. EU/MEeting 2010 on the 10th anniversary of the metaheuristic community (Lorient, France).
  12. EU/MEeting 2011 on Client-centered Logistics and International Aid (Vienna, Austria).
  13. EU/MEeting 2012 on Metaheuristics for global challenges, Copenhagen, Denmark. 
  14. EU/MEeting 2013  on Metaheuristics for all, Hamburg, Germany. 
  15. EU/MEeting 2014 on Metaheuristics and Engineering, Istanbul, Turkey.
  16. EU/MEeting 2014 in memory of late Professor Arne Løkketangen, Molde, Norway.
  17. EU/MEeting 2015 on Metaheuristic Applications, Madrid, Spain.
  18. EU/MEeting 2016 on Design and Analysis of Metaheuristics, Antwerp, Belgium.
  19. EU/MEeting 2017 on Metaheuristics for a better world, Rome, Italy.

Important dates and events in the EU/ME history

  • 2000 - Creation of EU/ME - The EUropean chapter on MEtaheuristics
  • 2001 - Official endorsement within EURO
  • 2001 - First web site and already 500 members are counted
  • 2004 - The number of members reaches 1000. EURO is forced to set new rules to handle big groups.
  • 2007 - EU/ME website is upgraded and run under a CMS
  • 2010 - Change of the name to EU/ME the metaheuristics community
  • 2013 - Creation of a VNS section


On March 4-18, 2000, EURO organised a EURO Winter Institute on "Metaheuristics in Combinatorial Optimisation" in Lac Noir, Switzerland. Both for the participants and the organisers (Alain Hertz and Marino Widmer), it was a great success. During the Winter Institute, seventeen young researchers worked together and shared experiences for fifteen days. This resulted in a group of seventeen motivated young researchers, eager to continue their joint work in their future careers. The organisers, Alain Hertz and Marino Widmer, and also Manuel Laguna, encouraged the participants to create a EURO working group, to stimulate ongoing co-operation in this field of research.

The topic of the Winter Institute was "Metaheuristics in Combinatorial Optimisation". It was decided to create a new group working in the field of metaheuristics to allow us to include people that use and develop metaheuristics for other than combinatorial optimisation problems.

In Europe and around the world, there exists already a large community working on that subject. The MIC (Metaheuristics International Conference) conference that takes place every two years, is a great success each time. EMO (International Conference on Evolutionary Multi-Criterion Optimisation), EuroGP 2001 (4th European Conference on Genetic Programming Congress on Evolutionary Computation), GECCO 2001 (Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference) and CEC 2001 (Congress on Evolutionary Computation) are other recent conferences in that field. Many workshops and streams in conferences or workshops are dedicated to metaheuristics. Also, mailing lists are growing and the modern-heuristics mailing list is one of the most important today. Moreover, the Journal of Heuristics provides an outlet for the work done by researchers in the field of metaheuristics.

Marc Sevaux, Kenneth Sörensen and Christelle Wynants decided to found a working group on metaheuristics to provide a forum for researchers, to intensify the joint European research and to maintain complete and updated information about events, papers, surveys, new algorithms, free positions, etc. One of the first acts of this new working group was to create a comprehensive web site of metaheuristics-related topics.

In January 2001, the EU/ME working group was officially endorsed by EURO and given the status of EURO working group. Since then, the group has continued to increase its member base.

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 February 2017 14:48

EU/ME discussion forum is now on Linkedin

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The EU/ME web site had a discussion forum in the past, but before the change to this new web site, we had been hacked too many times to be able to maintain the discussion forum open. In the past months, we had decided to create a EU/ME group on LinkeIn. Many members positively answered to this request, joining the LinkedIn group immediately. The format on LinkedIn seems to be very appropriate to any kind of discussions, so please do not hesitate to share any metaheuristics information on it. Longer type of information can still be put as an article here or sent to the EU/MEmbers with the mailing list.

Last Updated on Monday, 23 May 2011 13:38

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