Memetic Computing

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 333–350 | Cite as

EB-GLS: an improved guided local search based on the big valley structure

  • Jialong ShiEmail author
  • Qingfu Zhang
  • Edward Tsang
Regular Research Paper


Local search is a basic building block in memetic algorithms. Guided local search (GLS) can improve the efficiency of local search. By changing the guide function, GLS guides a local search to escape from locally optimal solutions and find better solutions. The key component of GLS is its penalizing mechanism which determines which feature is selected to penalize when the search is trapped in a locally optimal solution. The original GLS penalizing mechanism only makes use of the cost and the current penalty value of each feature. It is well known that many combinatorial optimization problems have a big valley structure, i.e., the better a solution is, the more the chance it is closer to a globally optimal solution. This paper proposes to use big valley structure assumption to improve the GLS penalizing mechanism. An improved GLS algorithm called elite biased GLS (EB-GLS) is proposed. EB-GLS records and maintains an elite solution as an estimate of the globally optimal solutions, and reduces the chance of penalizing the features in this solution. We have systematically tested the proposed algorithm on the symmetric traveling salesman problem. Experimental results show that EB-GLS is significantly better than GLS.


Combinatorial optimization Metaheuristics Traveling salesman problem Guided local search Elitism 



The work described in this paper was supported by a grant from ANR/RCC Joint Research Scheme sponsored by the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China and France National Research Agency (Project No. A-CityU101/16).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceCity University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong
  2. 2.Centre for Computational Finance and Economic Agents, School of Computer Science and Electronic EngineeringUniversity of EssexColchesterUK

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