Journal of Global Optimization

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 497–516 | Cite as

A black-box scatter search for optimization problems with integer variables

  • Manuel Laguna
  • Francisco Gortázar
  • Micael Gallego
  • Abraham Duarte
  • Rafael Martí


The goal of this work is the development of a black-box solver based on the scatter search methodology. In particular, we seek a solver capable of obtaining high quality outcomes to optimization problems for which solutions are represented as a vector of integer values. We refer to these problems as integer optimization problems. We assume that the decision variables are bounded and that there may be constraints that require that the black-box evaluator is called in order to know whether they are satisfied. Problems of this type are common in operational research areas of applications such as telecommunications, project management, engineering design and the like.Our experimental testing includes 171 instances within four classes of problems taken from the literature. The experiments compare the performance of the proposed method with both the best context-specific procedures designed for each class of problem as well as context-independent commercial software. The experiments show that the proposed solution method competes well against commercial software and that can be competitive with specialized procedures in some problem classes.


Black-box optimization Metaheuristics Hard optimization problems 



This research has been partially supported by the Government of Spain (Grant Refs. TIN2009-07516 and TIN2012-35632).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel Laguna
    • 1
  • Francisco Gortázar
    • 2
  • Micael Gallego
    • 2
  • Abraham Duarte
    • 2
  • Rafael Martí
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Leeds School of BusinessUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencias de la ComputaciónUniversidad Rey Juan CarlosMadridSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de Estadística e Investigación OperativaUniversitat de ValènciaValenciaSpain
  4. 4.Visiting the Leeds School of BusinessUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA

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