Metaheuristics “In the Large”
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Evolutionary computationOperational researchHeuristic designHeuristic methodsArchitectureFrameworksInteroperability
Jerry Swan... [et al.]. Metaheuristics “In the Large”, European Journal of Operational Research, Volume 297, Issue 2, 2022, Pages 393-406, ISSN 0377-2217, [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2021.05.042]
SponsorshipUK Research & Innovation (UKRI); Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) EP/J017515/1; EU H2020 SAFIRE Factories project; Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness TIN201785727-C4-2-P; Australian Research Council DE160100850 DP200102364
Following decades of sustained improvement, metaheuristics are one of the great success stories of opti- mization research. However, in order for research in metaheuristics to avoid fragmentation and a lack of reproducibility, there is a pressing need for stronger scientific and computational infrastructure to sup- port the development, analysis and comparison of new approaches. To this end, we present the vision and progress of the Metaheuristics “In the Large”project. The conceptual underpinnings of the project are: truly extensible algorithm templates that support reuse without modification, white box problem descriptions that provide generic support for the injection of domain specific knowledge, and remotely accessible frameworks, components and problems that will enhance reproducibility and accelerate the field’s progress. We argue that, via such principled choice of infrastructure support, the field can pur- sue a higher level of scientific enquiry. We describe our vision and report on progress, showing how the adoption of common protocols for all metaheuristics can help liberate the potential of the field, easing the exploration of the design space of metaheuristics.