Journal of Heuristics

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 77–97 | Cite as

Using Experimental Design to Find Effective Parameter Settings for Heuristics

  • Steven P. Coy
  • Bruce L. Golden
  • George C. Runger
  • Edward A. Wasil


In this paper, we propose a procedure, based on statistical design of experiments and gradient descent, that finds effective settings for parameters found in heuristics. We develop our procedure using four experiments. We use our procedure and a small subset of problems to find parameter settings for two new vehicle routing heuristics. We then set the parameters of each heuristic and solve 19 capacity-constrained and 15 capacity-constrained and route-length-constrained vehicle routing problems ranging in size from 50 to 483 customers. We conclude that our procedure is an effective method that deserves serious consideration by both researchers and operations research practitioners.

statistical design of experiments heuristics vehicle routing 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven P. Coy
    • 1
  • Bruce L. Golden
    • 2
  • George C. Runger
    • 3
  • Edward A. Wasil
    • 4
  1. 1.Continental Airlines, HQSRTHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Robert H. Smith School of BusinessUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.College of Engineering and Applied SciencesArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  4. 4.Kogod School of BusinessAmerican UniversityWashingtonUSA

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