Evolutionary Heuristics for the Bin Packing Problem

  • Sami Khuri
  • Martin Schütz
  • Jörg Heitkötter


In this paper we investigate the use of two evolutionary based heuristic to the bin packing problem. The intractability of this problem is a motivation for the pursuit of heuristics that produce approximate solutions. Unlike other evolutionary based heuristics used with optimization problems, ours do not use domain-specific knowledge and has no specialized genetic operators. It uses a straightforward fitness function to which a graded penalty term is added to penalize infeasible strings. The encoding of the problem makes use of strings that are of integer value. Strings do not represent permutations of the objects as is the case in most approaches to this problem. We use a different representation and give justifications for our choice. Several problem instances are used with a greedy heuristic and the evolutionary based algorithms. We compare the results and conclude with some observations, and suggestions on the use of evolutionary heuristics for combinatorial optimization problems.


Problem Instance Combinatorial Optimization Problem Greedy Heuristic Feasible Vector Evolutionary Heuristic 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sami Khuri
    • 1
  • Martin Schütz
    • 2
  • Jörg Heitkötter
    • 3
  1. 1.Dept. of Math. & Computer ScienceSan José State UniversitySan JoséUSA
  2. 2.Fachbereich Informatik, LS XIUniversität DortmundDortmundGermany
  3. 3.Research & DevelopmentEUnet Deutschland GmbHDortmundGermany

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