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An investigation of multilevel refinement in routing and location problems

An investigation of multilevel refinement in routing and location problems

Rodney, Demane O'Neil (2008) An investigation of multilevel refinement in routing and location problems. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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Multilevel refinement is a collaborative hierarchical solution technique. The multilevel technique aims to enhance the solution process of optimisation problems by improving the asymptotic convergence in the quality of solutions produced by its underlying local search heuristics and/or improving the convergence rate of these heuristics. To these aims, the central methodologies of the multilevel technique are filtering solutions from the search space (via coarsening), reducing the amount of problem detail considered at each level of the solution process and providing a mechanism to the underlying local search heuristics for efficiently making large moves around the search space. The neighbourhoods accessible by these moves are typically inaccessible if the local search heuristics are applied to the un-coarsened problems. The methodologies combine to meet the multilevel technique's aims, because, as the multilevel technique iteratively coarsens, extends and refines a given problem, it reduces the possibility of the local search heuristic becoming trapped in local optima of poor quality.

The research presented in this thesis investigates the application of multilevel refinement to classes of location and routing problems and develops numerous multilevel algorithms. Some of these algorithms are collaborative techniques for metaheuristics and others are collaborative techniques for local search heuristics. Additionally, new methods of coarsening for location and routing problems and enhancements for the multilevel technique are developed. It is demonstrated that the multilevel technique is suited to a wide array of problems. By extending the investigations of the multilevel technique across routing and location problems, the research was able to present generalisations regarding the multilevel technique's suitability, for these and similar types of problems.

Finally, results on a number of well known benchmarking suites for location and routing problem are presented, comparing equivalent single-level and multilevel algorithms. These results demonstrate that the multilevel technique provides significant gains over its single-level counterparts. In all cases, the multilevel algorithm was able to improve the asymptotic convergence in the quality of solutions produced by the standard (single-level) local search heuristics or metaheuristics. The multilevel technique did not improve the convergence rate of the single-level's local search heuristics in all cases. However, for large-scale problems the multilevel variants scaled in a manner superior to the single-level techniques. The research also demonstrated that for sufficiently large problems, the multilevel technique was able to improve the asymptotic convergence in the quality of solutions at a sufficiently fast rate, such that the multilevel algorithms were able to produce superior results compared to the single-level versions, without refining the solution down to the most detailed level.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: artificial intelligence, multilevel technique, routing, optimisation
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences
School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences > Department of Mathematical Sciences
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2017 12:49
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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