Handbook of Metaheuristics

Volume 57 of the series International Series in Operations Research & Management Science pp 1-35

Scatter Search and Path Relinking: Advances and Applications

  • Fred GloverAffiliated withLeeds School of Business, University of Colorado
  • , Manuel LagunaAffiliated withLeeds School of Business, University of Colorado
  • , Rafael MartiAffiliated withDpto. de Estadística e Investigación Operativa, Facultad de Matemáticas, Universitat de Valencia

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Scatter search (SS) is a population-based method that has recently been shown to yield promising outcomes for solving combinatorial and nonlinear optimization problems. Based on formulations originally proposed in the 1960s for combining decision rules and problem constraints, SS uses strategies for combining solution vectors that have proved effective in a variety of problem settings. Path relinking (PR) has been suggested as an approach to integrate intensification and diversification strategies in a search scheme. The approach may be viewed as an extreme (highly focused) instance of a strategy that seeks to incorporate attributes of high quality solutions, by creating inducements to favor these attributes in the moves selected. The goal of this paper is to examine SS and PR strategies that provide useful alternatives to more established search methods. We describe the features of SS and PR that set them apart from other evolutionary approaches, and that offer opportunities for creating increasingly more versatile and effective methods in the future. Specific applications are summarized to provide a clearer understanding of settings where the methods are being used.