S-ACO: An Ant-Based Approach to Combinatorial Optimization Under Uncertainty
A general-purpose, simulation-based algorithm S-ACO for solving stochastic combinatorial optimization problems by means of the ant colony optimization (ACO) paradigm is investigated. Whereas in a prior publication, theoretical convergence of S-ACO to the globally optimal solution has been demonstrated, the present article is concerned with an experimental study of S-ACO on two stochastic problems of fixed-routes type: First, a pre-test is carried out on the probabilistic traveling salesman problem. Then, more comprehensive tests are performed for a traveling salesman problem with time windows (TSPTW) in the case of stochastic service times. As a yardstick, a stochastic simulated annealing (SSA) algorithm has been implemented for comparison. Both approaches are tested at randomly generated problem instances of different size. It turns out that S-ACO outperforms the SSA approach on the considered test instances. Some conclusions for fine-tuning S-ACO are drawn.
KeywordsTest Instance Vehicle Route Problem Construction Graph Service Engineer Random Scenario
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