HyFlex: A Benchmark Framework for Cross-Domain Heuristic Search

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Abstract

This paper presents HyFlex, a software framework for the development of cross-domain search methodologies. The framework features a common software interface for dealing with different combinatorial optimisation problems and provides the algorithm components that are problem specific. In this way, the algorithm designer does not require a detailed knowledge of the problem domains and thus can concentrate his/her efforts on designing adaptive general-purpose optimisation algorithms. Six hard combinatorial problems are fully implemented: maximum satisfiability, one dimensional bin packing, permutation flow shop, personnel scheduling, traveling salesman and vehicle routing. Each domain contains a varied set of instances, including real-world industrial data and an extensive set of state-of-the-art problem specific heuristics and search operators. HyFlex represents a valuable new benchmark of heuristic search generality, with which adaptive cross-domain algorithms are being easily developed and reliably compared.This article serves both as a tutorial and a as survey of the research achievements and publications so far using HyFlex.