A Neighborhood Search-Based Heuristic for the Fixed Spectrum Frequency Assignment Problem

  • Umair F. Siddiqi
  • Sadiq M. Sait
Research Article - Computer Engineering and Computer Science


This article proposes a heuristic for the fixed spectrum frequency assignment (FS-FA) problem of telecommunications networks. A network composes of many connections, and each connection needs a frequency from the spectrum. The assignment of frequencies to the transmitters should satisfy a set of constraints. The constraints specify the separation which is necessary between frequencies of different transmitters. Violation of constraints creates interference. The goal of the FS-FA problem is to find an assignment of frequencies for the transmitters, which has minimum interference. The proposed heuristic has two main components: a local search heuristic and a compound move. The local search heuristic employs one-change moves (i.e., a move that changes the frequency of one transmitter at a time). It also employs a lookup table that classifies all possible one-change moves as positive or negative. The local search heuristic chooses positive/negative moves until it traps in a locally minimal solution. The compound-move operation shifts the local search to a new location in the search space. We can repeatedly apply the local search and compound move for many iterations. The proposed heuristic has been evaluated on the same benchmarks as used by others in the recently published literature. We have compared our algorithm with two existing tabu-search-based algorithms: dynamic-list-based tabu search (DTS) (Montemanni et al. in IEEE Trans Veh Technol 52(4):891–901, 2003. and heuristic manipulation technique-based TS (Montemanni and Smith in Comput Oper Res 37(3):543–551, 2010. (HMT). The solution quality of the proposed algorithm is found to be better than or equal to the HMT and DTS in 88% and 79% of test problems, respectively.


Frequency assignment problem Graph coloring problem Heuristics 


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© King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Communications and IT Research, Research InstituteKing Fahd University of Petroleum and MineralsDhahranSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of Computer Engineering, and Center for Communications and IT Research, Research InstituteKing Fahd University of Petroleum and MineralsDhahranSaudi Arabia

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