A Novel Feature-Based Approach to Characterize Algorithm Performance for the Traveling Salesman Problem
Mersmann O, Bischl B, Trautmann H, Wagner M, Bossek J, Neumann F
Meta-heuristics are frequently used to tackle NP-hard combinatorial optimization problems. With this paper we contribute to the understanding of the success of 2-opt based local search algorithms for solving the traveling salesperson problem (TSP). Although 2-opt is widely used in practice, it is hard to understand its success from a theoretical perspective. We take a statistical approach and examine the features of TSP instances that make the problem either hard or easy to solve. As a measure of problem difficulty for 2-opt we use the approximation ratio that it achieves on a given instance. Our investigations point out important features that make TSP instances hard or easy to be approximated by 2-opt.
TSP; 2-opt; Classification; Feature selection; MARS