Iterated Local Search: Framework and Applications

  • Helena R. Lourenço
  • Olivier C. Martin
  • Thomas Stützle
Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR, volume 146)


The key idea underlying iterated local search is to focus the search not on the full space of all candidate solutions but on the solutions that are returned by some underlying algorithm, typically a local search heuristic. The resulting search behavior can be characterized as iteratively building a chain of solutions of this embedded algorithm. The result is also a conceptually simple metaheuristic that nevertheless has led to state-of-the-art algorithms for many computationally hard problems. In fact, very good performance is often already obtained by rather straightforward implementations of the metaheuristic. In addition, the modular architecture of iterated local search makes it very suitable for an algorithm engineering approach where, progressively, the algorithms’ performance can be further optimized. Our purpose here is to give an accessible description of the underlying principles of iterated local search and a discussion of the main aspects that need to be taken into account for a successful application of it. In addition, we review the most important applications of this method and discuss its relationship to other metaheuristics.


Local Search Travel Salesman Problem Acceptance Criterion Variable Neighborhood Search Local Search Algorithm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Olivier Martin acknowledges support from the Institut Universitaire de France, Helena Lourenço acknowledges support from the Ministerio de Educacion y Ciencia, Spain, MEC-SEJ2006-12291, and Thomas Stützle acknowledges support from the F.R.S.-FNRS, of which he is a Research Associate. This work was supported by the META-X project, an Action de Recherche Concertée funded by the Scientific Research Directorate of the French Community of Belgium.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helena R. Lourenço
    • 1
  • Olivier C. Martin
    • 2
  • Thomas Stützle
    • 3
  1. 1.Universitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Université Paris-SudOrsayFrance
  3. 3.IRIDIA, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)BrusselsBelgium

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