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Search with evolutionary ruin and stochastic rebuild: a theoretic framework and a case study on exam timetabling

Li, Jingpeng; Bai, Ruibin; Shen, Yindong; Qu, Rong

Authors

Jingpeng Li

Ruibin Bai

Yindong Shen

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RONG QU rong.qu@nottingham.ac.uk
Associate Professor



Abstract

This paper presents a state transition based formal framework for a new search method, called Evolutionary Ruin and Stochastic Recreate, which tries to learn and adapt to the changing environments during the search process. It improves the performance of the original Ruin and Recreate principle by embedding an additional phase of Evolutionary Ruin to mimic the survival-of-the-fittest mechanism within single solutions. This method executes a cycle of Solution Decomposition, Evolutionary Ruin, Stochastic Recreate and Solution Acceptance until a certain stopping condition is met. The Solution Decomposition phase first uses some problem-specific knowledge to decompose a complete solution into its components and assigns a score to each component. The Evolutionary Ruin phase then employs two evolutionary operators (namely Selection and Mutation) to destroy a certain fraction of the solution, and the next Stochastic Recreate phase repairs the “broken” solution. Last, the Solution Acceptance phase selects a specific strategy to determine the probability of accepting the newly generated solution. Hence, optimisation is achieved by an iterative process of component evaluation, solution disruption and stochastic constructive repair. From the state transitions point of view, this paper presents a probabilistic model and implements a Markov chain analysis on some theoretical properties of the approach. Unlike the theoretical work on genetic algorithm and simulated annealing which are based on state transitions within the space of complete assignments, our model is based on state transitions within the space of partial assignments. The exam timetabling problems are used to test the performance in solving real-world hard problems.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal European Journal of Operational Research
Print ISSN 0377-2217
Electronic ISSN 0377-2217
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 242
Issue 3
APA6 Citation Li, J., Bai, R., Shen, Y., & Qu, R. (in press). Search with evolutionary ruin and stochastic rebuild: a theoretic framework and a case study on exam timetabling. European Journal of Operational Research, 242(3), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2014.11.002
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2014.11.002
Keywords Metaheuristics, Evolutionary algorithm, stochastic process, combinatorial optimisation, exam timetabling
Publisher URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377221714009060
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0
Additional Information NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in European Journal of Operational Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in European Journal of Operational Research, vol. 242, issue 3, 2015. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2014.11.002

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0





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