Original research

Journal of Industrial Engineering International

, 8:6

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Effective heuristics and meta-heuristics for the quadratic assignment problem with tuned parameters and analytical comparisons

  • Mahdi BashiriAffiliated withDepartment of Industrial Engineering, Shahed University Email author 
  • , Hossein KarimiAffiliated withDepartment of Industrial Engineering, Shahed University


Quadratic assignment problem (QAP) is a well-known problem in the facility location and layout. It belongs to the NP-complete class. There are many heuristic and meta-heuristic methods, which are presented for QAP in the literature. In this paper, we applied 2-opt, greedy 2-opt, 3-opt, greedy 3-opt, and VNZ as heuristic methods and tabu search (TS), simulated annealing, and particle swarm optimization as meta-heuristic methods for the QAP. This research is dedicated to compare the relative percentage deviation of these solution qualities from the best known solution which is introduced in QAPLIB. Furthermore, a tuning method is applied for meta-heuristic parameters. Results indicate that TS is the best in 31%of QAPs, and the IFLS method, which is in the literature, is the best in 58 % of QAPs; these two methods are the same in 11 % of test problems. Also, TS has a better computational time among heuristic and meta-heuristic methods.


Quadratic assignment problem Heuristics Meta-heuristics Tuning method