An Evolutionary Algorithm for Large Scale Set Covering Problems with Application to Airline Crew Scheduling

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1803)


The set covering problem is a paradigmatic NP-hard combinatorial optimization problem which is used as model in relevant applications, in particular crew scheduling in airline and mass-transit companies. This paper is concerned with the approximated solution of large scale set covering problems arising from crew scheduling in airline companies. We propose an adaptive heuristic-based evolutionary algorithm whose main ingredient is amechanism for selecting a small core subproblem which is dynamically updated during the execution. This mechanism allows the algorithm to find covers of good quality in rather short time. Experiments conducted on real-world benchmark instances from crew scheduling in airline companies yield results which are competitive with those obtained by other commercial/academic systems, indicating the effectiveness of our approach for dealing with large scale set covering problems.


Heuristic Algorithm Problem Instance Lagrangian Relaxation Partial Cover Crew Schedule 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Sciences, Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceFree UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.CWIAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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