The evolutionary approach called scatter search originated from
strategies for creating composite decision rules and surrogate
constraints. Recent studies demonstrate the practical advantages of
this approach for solving a diverse array of optimization problems
from both classical and real world settings. Scatter search
contrasts with other evolutionary procedures, such as genetic
algorithms, by providing unifying principles for joining solutions
based on generalized path constructions in Euclidean space and by
utilizing strategic designs where other approaches resort to
randomization. The book's goal is to provide the basic principles
and fundamental ideas that will allow the readers to create
successful applications of scatter search. The book includes the C
source code of the methods introduced in each chapter.
From the Foreword:
Scatter Search represents a "missing link" in the literature of
evolutionary methods... From a historical perspective, the
dedicated use of heuristic strategies both to guide the process of
combining solutions and to enhance the quality of offspring has
been heralded as a key innovation in evolutionary methods, giving
rise to what are sometimes called "hybrid" or ("memetic")
evolutionary procedures. The underlying processes have been
introduced into the mainstream of evolutionary methods (such as
genetic algorithms, for example) by a series of gradual steps
beginning in the late 1980s. Yet this theme is an integral part of
the scatter search methodology proposed a decade earlier, and the
form and scope of such heuristic strategies embedded in scatter
search continue to set it apart. Although there are points in
common between scatter search and other evolutionary approaches,
principally as a result of changes that have brought other
approaches closer to scatter search in recent years, there remain
differences that have an important impact on practical outcomes.
Reflecting this impact, a hallmark of the present book is its focus
on practical problem solving. Laguna and Marti give the reader the
tools to create scatter search implementations for problems from a
wide range of settings. Although theoretical problems (such as
abstract problems in graph theory) are included, beyond a doubt the
practical realm has a predominant role in this book....'
Fred Glover, University of Colorado
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