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Appears in Collections:Computing Science and Mathematics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Hybridizations within a graph-based hyper-heuristic framework for university timetabling problems
Author(s): Qu, Rong
Burke, Edmund
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Keywords: university timetabling
graph colouring heuristics
tabu search
variable neighbourhood search
iterated local search
Issue Date: 2009
Citation: Qu R & Burke E (2009) Hybridizations within a graph-based hyper-heuristic framework for university timetabling problems, Journal of the Operational Research Society, 60 (9), pp. 1273-1285.
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.
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