Applied Intelligence

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 404–414 | Cite as

An evolutionary-based hyper-heuristic approach for the Jawbreaker puzzle

  • S. Salcedo-SanzEmail author
  • J. M. Matías-Román
  • S. Jiménez-Fernández
  • A. Portilla-Figueras
  • L. Cuadra


In this paper a hyper-heuristic algorithm is designed and developed for its application to the Jawbreaker puzzle. Jawbreaker is an addictive game consisting in a matrix of colored balls, that must be cleared by popping sets of balls of the same color. This puzzle is perfect to be solved by applying hyper-heuristics algorithms, since many different low-level heuristics are available, and they can be applied in a sequential fashion to solve the puzzle. We detail a set of low-level heuristics and a global search procedure (evolutionary algorithm) that conforms to a robust hyper-heuristic, able to solve very difficult instances of the Jawbreaker puzzle. We test the proposed hyper-heuristic approach in Jawbreaker puzzles of different size and difficulty, with excellent results.


Jawbreaker puzzle Hyper-heuristics Evolutionary algorithms 



This work has been partially supported by Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, under project number ECO2010-22065-C03-02.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Salcedo-Sanz
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. M. Matías-Román
    • 1
  • S. Jiménez-Fernández
    • 1
  • A. Portilla-Figueras
    • 1
  • L. Cuadra
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Signal Theory and Communications, Escuela Politécnica SuperiorUniversidad de AlcaláMadridSpain

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