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**Covering Problems with Appli
ation to Airline
**

Crew S
heduling

Elena Mar
hiori1 and Adri Steenbeek2

1

Free University

Fa
ulty of S
ien
es, Department of Mathemati
s and Computer S
ien
e

De Boelelaan 1081a, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

elena
s.vu.nl

2

CWI,

P.O. Box 94079, 1090 GB Amsterdam, The Netherlands

adri
wi.nl

The set
overing problem is a paradigmati
NP-hard
ombinatorial optimization problem whi
h is used as model in relevant appli
ations, in parti
ular
rew s
heduling in airline and mass-transit
ompanies. This paper is
on
erned with the approximated solution of large

s
ale set
overing problems arising from
rew s
heduling in airline
ompanies. We propose an adaptive heuristi
-based evolutionary algorithm

whose main ingredient is a me
hanism for sele
ting a small
ore subproblem whi
h is dynami
ally updated during the exe
ution. This me
hanism

allows the algorithm to

zero-one matrix (aij ). the problem onsists of . Experiments ondu ted on real-world ben hmark instan es from rew s heduling in airline ompanies yield results whi h are ompetitive with those obtained by other ommer ial/a ademi systems. n- olumn. and an n-dimensional integer ve tor (wj ). 1 Introdu tion The set overing problem (SCP) is one of the oldest and most studied NP-hard problems ( f.nd overs of good quality in rather short time. [14℄). Given a m-row. indi ating the ee tiveness of our approa h for dealing with large s ale set overing problems. Abstra t.

: : : . n j aij xj j = 1. This problem an be formulated as a onstrained optimization problem as follows: minimize P n j =1 wj x j subje t to the onstraints 8 < 2 f0 1g :P 1 =1 xj . m: . i = 1.nding a subset of olumns overing all the rows and having minimum total weight. : : : . n. A row i is overed by a olumn j if the entry aij is equal to 1.

The m onstraint inequalities are used to express the requirement that ea h row be overed by at least one olumn. The weight wj is a positive integer that spe i.The variable xj indi ates whether olumn j belongs to the solution (xj = 1) or not (xj = 0).

15℄: . When all wj 's are equal to 1. 12. then the SCP is alled uni ost SCP.es the ost of olumn j . Relevant pra ti al appli ations of the SCP in lude rew s heduling [1. 2.

In the stati approa h the ore remains the same during the exe ution ( f. At ea h iteration a near optimal over is onstru ted using the information provided by the previous iterations to guide the sear h. and as olumns the pairings generated. 10. [7. 9℄). In this paper we propose a novel heuristi algorithm for large s ale SCPs arising from rew sheduling problems in airline ompanies. A very ee tive heuristi algorithm for large s ale SCPs based on this approa h is [7℄. The most su essful heuristi algorithms for large s ale SCP's are based on Lagrangian relaxation [13℄. Lagrangian relaxation is used to ompute the s ore of a olumn a ording to its likelihood to be sele ted in an optimal solution. 11℄). Next. very large s ale SCP instan es may arise. alled ore. [6. where a pairing is a sequen e of trips that an be performed by a single rew.nd a set of pairings having minimum- ost whi h overs a given set of trips. while in the dynami approa h it is updated using an adaptive me hanism (e. whi h is sele ted before the exe ution of the algorithm. The . A widely used approa h to rew s heduling works as follows. having as rows the trips to be overed. a very large number of pairings is generated. First. All ee tive heuristi s for large s ale SCP's a t on a subset of the olumns. We refer the reader to [8℄ for a re ent survey on exa t and heuristi algorithms for SCP. involving thousands of rows and millions of olumns.g. These s ores are employed in simple greedy heuristi s for omputing a solution. When this approa h is used in mass-transit appli ations. a SCP is solved.

3) Finally. 2) Next. the algorithm extra ts an initial ore from the set of olumns given in the input. Given a problem instan e. some olumns that o ur in the best solution found in all iterations up to now are sele ted for forming the initial partial solution for the next iteration.nal solution is the best over found in all the iterations. while the sele tion of a olumn is spe i. Then the algorithm onsits of the iterated appli ation of the following three steps: 1) First. The size of the ore is determined by an adaptive size parameter. a lo al sear h optimization algorithm is applied to the resulting solution. an approximated solution to the a tual SCP ore is onstru ted by means of a novel greedy heuristi .

During the exe ution. the s ore of the olumns is modi.ed by a suitable merit riterion.

and the ore is dynami ally updated. and the best between the parent and the hild survives. This algorithm an be viewed as a hybrid (1 + 1) steady-state evolutionary algorithm. where at ea h iteration a hild is generated from the parent using the above des ribed heuristi . .ed as well as the size parameter.

In order to assess the performan e of the algorithm. we ondu t extensive experiments on real-world problem instan es arising from rew s heduling in airlines. as well as on other ben hmark instan es from the literature. The results of the experiments are rather satisfa tory: our algorithm is able to .

and set up the notation and terminology used throughout the paper. In the next subse tions we brie y dis uss some related work. In Se tion 3 we report the results of extensive omputational experiments. yielding results whi h are ompetitive with those reported by the best industrial as well as a ademi methods for solving large set overing problems. We on lude with some . In Se tion 2 we introdu e the overall method and present in detail the four main modules of the algorithm. The rest of the paper is organized as follows.nd overs of very good quality in a short amount of time.

yielding rather satisfa tory results. A rather ee tive heuristi algorithm based on Lagrangian relaxation is the CFT algorithm [7℄ by Caprara et al. This algorithm is used in the CARMEN system for airline rew s heduling. As a onsequen e. heuristi s are used for eliminating redundant olumns as well as for de. one bit for ea h olumn. This algorithm has been tested also on large s ale problem instan es arising from rew s heduling in railway. Moreover.nal remarks on the present investigation and on future work. all hromosomes are feasible solutions. representing the set of olumns whose bit in the string are equal to 1. The authors employ a representation where a hromosome is a bit string of lenght equal to the number of olumns. 1. Here a hromosome is a string of lenght equal to the number of rows. Moreover. where the i-th entry ontains (the index of) a olumn overing the ith row. a industrial system used by several major airlines. thus they do not need to be repaired as in [6℄. In [15℄ a approximation algorithm for solving large 0-1 integer programming problems is proposed. The algorithm employs a heuristi repair me hanism for transforming infeasible hromosomes into solutions. A geneti algorithm based on a non-binary representation has been proposed by Eremeev in [11℄.1 Related Work An experimental omparison of the most ee tive exa t and heuristi algorithms for the weighted SCP is given in a re ent paper by Caprara et al [8℄. a ore is used for onstru ting the hromosomes of the initial population. Resear h based on evolutionary omputation in ludes the following two papers. Beasley and Chu in [6℄ introdu e a geneti algorithm for the SCP.

In Se tion 3 we will ompare experimentally the above mentioned algorithms with the algorithm introdu ed in this paper. 1. we use the following terminology and notation.ning the rossover operator. .2 Notation and Terminology In order to des ribe our method.

possibly subs ripted. We say that a olumn j is redundant with respe t to S if ov (S n fj g) = ov (S ). Let ov (S ) be the set of rows that are overed by the olumns in S : ov (S ) = fi j aij = 1 for some j 2 S g: For simpli ity.In the sequel. we write ov (j ) instead of ov (fj g). Let ov (j. S ) = fi Moreover. and a row by r. the indexes i. let over i: j aij = 1 and aij = 0 for all j 0 2 S n fj g g: 0 ( ) be the minimum weight of the olumns that min weight i ( ) = minimum min weight i f wj j 2 ov ( ) g i j : We an now de. A olumn will also be denoted by . but are not overed by any olumn in S n fj g: ov (j. S ) be the set of rows whi h are overed by olumn j . respe tively. A partial over (also alled partial solution) is a set of olumns ontaining no redundant olumn. j denote a generi row and olumn. Moreover. S denotes a set of olumns.

S ) A onvenient property of ov val is that ov val (j. Moreover. S ) = 0. alled over value. This allows one to ompute the over value of a olumn without taking into a ount whether it belongs to the partial solution S or not. whi h is used to evaluate a olumn j with respe t to a partial over S in order to sele t a olumn to be added (resp. The over value is used to de. removed) to (resp. S ) = i () min weight i : 2 ov (j. S n fj g). we an hara terize the redundan y of a olumn by means of the ondition ov val (j. from) S : X ov val (j. S ) = ov val (j.ne the fun tion ov val .

2 The Overall Method The algorithm we propose onsists of an iterated pro edure.ne the sele tion value sel val (j. at ea h iteration a greedy heuristi is used to onstru t in rementally a over starting from a partial over: in the . ov val (j. S ) of a olumn j with respe t to the partial over S : sel val (j. wj = The sele tion value of redundant olumns is set to a very big onstant Lim. Roughly. S ) otherwise. S ) = Lim if j redundant wrt S . In this way. redundant olumns do not have any han e of being sele ted. where ea h iteration generates an approximated solution using only olumns from the a tual ore.

The over found after the .rst iteration the partial over is empty. while in the following iterations the partial over is a proper subset of the best over found in all iterations up to now.

appli ation of the greedy heuristi is given as input to an optimization pro edure whi h tries to improve the partial solution. The ore is updated from time to time during the exe ution. The .

OPTIMIZE(S).SELECT_PARTIAL_COVER(Sbest). removed) to (resp. and value(S) is the sum of the weights of the olumns of S. from) S until S overs all the rows.GREEDY(S). // extend S until it is a over: FUNCTION GREEDY( var S ) BEGIN WHILE ( S is not a over ) DO // sele t and add one olumn to S S <.S. The algorithm onstru ts a solution (a over). S <. FOR 1 . where Sbest represents the best over found so far.{ 1. Lines starting with "==" are omments. j 2S wj . that is. S <.. ENDFOR RETURN Sbest END 2. The orresponding algorithm WSCP (Weighted Set Covering Problem) is illustrated below in pseudo- ode.S + sele t_add().1 Greedy Heuristi Our greedy heuristi GREEDY is des ribed in pseudo- ode below. S <. Sbest <..nal result is the best over found in all iterations. // remove 0 or more olumns from S WHILE ( remove_is_okay() ) DO S <.{ }.n ol }.sele t_rmv(). ENDIF. ENDIF. Columns are added (resp. IF ( value(S) <= value(Sbest) ) THEN Sbest <. param.number_of_iterations DO IF ( ore_sele tion() ) RECOMPUTE_CORE().S . without redundant olumns return S. starting from a (possibly empty) partial over S . S <. Therefore the optimal over is the over S having minimum value(S). S denotes the a tual partial P over. FUNCTION WSCP() BEGIN RECOMPUTE_CORE(). ENDWHILE ENDWHILE // S is a over. END .

jl . suppose there is a olumn j 62 S su h that S [ fj g ontains at least two olumns other than j .:::.The fun tion sele t add sele ts a olumn j not in S having minimum sele tion value sel val (j. In this k=1. Finally. 2. otherwise. The gain of j is de. if S ontains at least one redundant olumn then it returns true. with probability param:p rmv (typi al value 0:3) it returns true. the fun tion sele t rmv sele ts a olumn in S having maximum sele tion value. Then (S nfj1 . : : : . with l 2 that are redundant. : : : .l ase we all j a superior olumn. that is. say j1 . jl g) [fj g is a better over than S . The test remove is okay determines whether olumns should be removed from S . wjk > wj . and P su h that the sum of their weights is greater than the weight of j . S ). otherwise f alse. If S is empty it returns f alse.2 Lo al Optimization The lo al optimization pro edure OPTIMIZE is based on the following idea. Given a over S .

the head of S up is removed and memorized in the variable best using . // S is a over. Note that the optimization pro edure operates on a over ontaining no redundant olumns. without redundant olumns FUNCTION OPTIMIZE( var S ) BEGIN Sup <.sele t_best(). the list S up is s anned in the WHILE loop. S <.best. the fun tion sele t superior() is used. The optimization algorithm OPTIMIZE in pseudo- ode is given below. without redundant olumns return S.S + best.l So a best superior olumn is the one having highest gain. ENDIF ENDWHILE // S is a over. // add superior and remove redundant olumns from S IF ( best superior ) S <.Sup . Sup <. whi h generates the list S up onsisting of all the superior olumns ordered in de reasing order a ording to their gain. WHILE ( Sup not empty) DO // sele t best olumn from Sup best <.sele t_redundant().ned by gain (j ) = X wjk wj : k=1.sele t_superior(). END First. Next. At ea h iteration.S .:::.

the fun tion sele t best(). If the sele ted olumn is still superior (that is if the test best superior is satis.

and the set of redundant olumns are removed from the resulting partial over S using the fun tion sele t redundant().ed) then it is added to S . 2.3 Restoring Part of the A tual Best Solution In the .

rst iteration of WSCP the heuristi GREEDY onstru ts a over starting from the empty set. 2. We introdu e the following method for onstru ting an SCP ore. we keep tra k of the number hosen (j ) of times that j has been part of a best solution. otherwise. where neli is the number of elements of E ) while the remaining olumns of E are sele ted with a probability that is set to a random value between 0:1 and 0:9. otherwise. Then SELECT PARTIAL COVER sele ts from E the set of olumnsPhaving low hosen (j ) (in our implementation hosen (j ) has to be smaller than j hosen (j )=(neli 10). For a olumn j . The SCP over is onstru ted from the empty set by in rementally adding olumns a ording to the following riterion. onsisting of those olumns j of the best solution Sbest su h that ov val (j. j is added if there exists a row i su h that j overs i and wj < min weight(i) K0 . at least the . S best) > wj . The fun tion SELECT PARTIAL COVER onsiders the set E of so- alled elite olumns. Note that K0 . in the following iterations. Condition 3 implies that the SCP ore ontains for ea h row. j is added if there exists a row i su h that j overs i and i is overed by less than K1 olumns of the a tual SCP ore. 3. with K1 a given onstant integer value greater or equal than 1. Suppose olumn j has been sele ted: 1. K1 are parameters whi h are hosen depending on the lass of problems one onsiders. whi h has been implemented in the fun tion RECOMPUTE CORE.4 Sele ting the SCP Core This is a fundamental step in the design of an algorithm for dealing with large SCP instan es. if j is an elite olumn then with probability lose to 1 it is added to the a tual SCP ore. Columns are sele ted in in reasing order a ording to their sele tion value. with K0 a given onstant real value greater or equal than 1. GREEDY builds a over starting from a subset of the best over found so far. 2.

the min weight of those rows that are not yet overed is in reased . In our implementation.rst K1 best olumns (a ording to the ordering indu ed by the sele tion value fun tion) that over that row. During the exe ution of GREEDY. when ninety per ent of a over has been onstru ted. The fun tion ore sele tion() determines when the a tual SCP ore has to be re omputed. we re ompute the SCP ore every 100 iterations of WSCP.

3 Experimental Evaluation The algorithm WSCP has been tested on large set overing problems arising from rew s heduling appli ations in various airline ompanies. Beasley 1 . 10 k=1 and z is the optimal or best known solution. they have been used in [8℄ for omparing experimentally various exa t and heuristi algorithms for SCP. Fbst indi ates the frequen y of obtaining the best solution in the performed runs. Bst denotes the best result found by the algorithm. WSCP has been implemented in C++.by a small quantity (in our implementation min weight(i) is multiplied by 1:1). The algorithm was run on a Sun Ultra 10 (UltraSPARC-IIi 300MHz). the entry labeled Id ontains the name of the problem instan e. In parti ular. These instan es are onsidered standard ben hmarks for testing the ee tiveness of exa t and heuristi algorithms for the SCP. In ea h table. This ae ts the sele tion value of the olumns. Tbst denotes the average pu time for obtaining the best solution Bst.E. The results of the experiments are based on 10 runs on ea h problem instan e of the OR Library. hen e their order of sele tion in the onstru tion of the SCP ore hanges during the exe ution of the overall algorithm WSCP. where zk is the solution found in the k -th run. while Tsol denotes the average pu time for . we have onsidered the weighted SCP instan es from the OR library maintained by J. The label BK denotes the best known solution for that instan e. Moreover. and on 5 runs on the other instan es. Apd denotes the average per entage deviation P ( zk z )=(10 z ) 100%.

A set of instan es from a major airline ompany.ms.g. the weights of the olumns are very large numbers.uk/jeb/orlib/s pinfo. 4. with the CFT algorithm by Caprara et al [7℄. The results of the experiments are given in Tables 2.nding a solution.1 Experiments on Airline Crew S heduling Problem Instan es We onsider three sets of ben hmark instan es from real-world airline rew s heduling problems. Note that the results for the Wedelin and CFT algorithms are taken from the paper [7℄. the Wedelin instan es. respe tively.html . and with the Wedelin algorithm [15℄. 3. respe tively. Observe that in many instan es. the airline s heduling instan es from Wedelin [15℄. and 7.i . like. be ause the weight represents the ost of a pairing and takes into a ount several fa tors. 5. 3. We ompare experimentally WSCP with the industrial system used by an airline ompany on the AIR instan es. where the pu time is estimated in DECstation 1 see http://ms mga.a . Finally. and a solution. and the instan es from Balas and Carrera [3℄. e.. and 7. Ibst and Isol denote the average number of iterations of obtaining the best solution Bst. The hara teristi s of these problems are reported in Tables 2. here alled AIR instan es.

5000/240 CPU se onds. Only the value of the best solution is reported. the time for . For the CFT algorithm.

9 896.2 1004.0 0.0 224.9 919.9 907.3 237.8 933.0 0.2 13489489 1.2 13162511 1. Chara teristi s of AIR instan es WSCP Bst Fbst Apd Tbst Tsol Ibst Isol 16351667 1.2 944. only the overall exe ution time Texe of the algorithm is reported.135 1437-37037 32363 0.092 1337-37148 79481 0. while on the other instan es WSCP found solutions of equal value as those found by the industrial system.nding the best solution is given. Results for AIR instan es On three AIR instan es WSCP found a solution whi h is better than the best solution found by the industrial system.167 1319-35302 19441 0.6 13301520 1.4 15663688 1.4 1004.0 200.6 13510584 1.18 1344-36370 389388 5.0 0.0 0.9 200.8 732587 0.126 1411-37251 23741 0.0 131.6 3203.2 1087.135 1437-37206 40580 0.6 907.55 1800-18768 642613 1.0 0.2 13571530 1.1 3501.0 822.8 12879297 1.0 550.8 247775 1.3 0.0001 923.2 946.6 1167.19 1361-36370 49525 0.0 0.18 1345-36370 50047 0.0 0.2 254.9 156. while for the Wedelin algorithm.5 848.4 822.15 1319-36370 45286 0.9 550.8 1460.1 363.3 0.11 1064.0 235.4 Table 2.4 16110608 1. The authors do not spe ify the setting of the various parameters in their algorithms.4 944.45 1630-19000 1.1 1085.0 254.3 933.0 0.8 919.9 945.0 0.123 1460-37142 72377 0.0 16315070 0.0 363.0 156.2 224. and the total number of trials performed.8 1087.4 946.0 0.0 1085.4 235. Id Rows Columns Density (%) Weight Range A01 A02 A03 A04 A05 A06 A07 A08 A09 A10 A11 A12 5265 3878 4965 4916 4656 1971 4203 4320 4287 4369 150 682 Table Id Industry Bst A01 16351667 A02 12879297 A03 15663720 A04 16110608 A05 16315241 A06 13162511 A07 13301520 A08 13510606 A09 13489489 A10 13571530 A11 247775 A12 732587 258303 0.0 131.6 945.0 254.0 237.4 254. .

9 608.1 0.0 0.1 5262190 1579.2 326.2 A320 1262100 1262100 79.Id B727s rat h ALITALIA A320 A320 o SASjump SASD9imp2 Table Id Rows Columns Density (%) Weight Range 29 157 8.400 0.34 17.4 Table 5.3 7340777 806.1 2200-2110900 199 6931 2.98 4635.6 4720-55849 1366 25032 0.0 3454.0006 651.0 0.0 17.0 0.3 1600-2111450 235 18753 1.5 2402.452 4603.8 A320 1262100 1262100 1.63 106.0 0. Results of WSCP on Wedelin instan es .7 ALITALIA 27258300 27258300 6.04 741.018 0.0 3671.7 SASjump 7338844 7339537 396.4 38.2 0.018 38.6 SASD9imp2 5262190 5263590 0.02 269.4 ALITALIA 27258300 27258300 1.370 0.0 SASjump 7338844 7339541 0. Results of CFT and Wedelin on Wedelin instan es Id BK BK WSCP Bst Fbst Apd Tbst Tsol Ibst Isol B727s rat h 94400 94400 1.7 Table 4.2 A320 o 14495500 14495500 0.63 0.5 1262100 216.2 27258300 37.3 3860-35200 3.34 326. Chara teristi s of Wedelin instan es CFT Wedelin Bst Tbst Bst Texe B727s rat h 94400 94.0 0.8 14495500 1023.8 SASD9imp2 5262190 5263640 2082.2 1600-11850 118 1165 3.20 3494.1 0.08 446.9 1900-1812000 742 10.8 106.3 94400 4.9 A320 o 14495500 14495600 577.3 200.

0 37.0 0.8 AA14 33219 30.2 128.6 9.74 11.58 35-2966 454 2241 1.0 7.0 0.50 35-2966 267 3701 2.0 8.4 AA20 34912 13.0 11.4 AA17 31612 10.55 35-2966 263 3202 2.9 31612 1.1 31623 1.19 8.7 35384 1.8 AA15 34409 18.0 0.6 BUS2 67760 19.0 0.0 0.5 36782 0.2 262.0 0.48 9.2 AA11 35384 193.2 67760 1.0 2.61 35-2966 271 3314 2.73 74.9 32317 1.05 91-3619 106 8002 4.266 40.48 0.73 2.1 6.4 BUS1 27947 5.32 2.89 120-877 681 9524 0.69 262.2 37464 1.6 382.3 33211 1.76 4.24 616.2 Table 7.0 0.0 0.0 0.24 37.0 0.05 91-3619 105 6951 4.32 103.63 257.6 AA06 37464 5.63 35-2966 269 3095 2.67 2.74 557.0 1.11 19.4 755.69 4.0 0.76 318.58 35-2966 265 3558 2.8 103.0 1.8 30809 1.2 AA18 36782 13.0 2.0 0.6 AA05 31623 3.3 33219 1.94 1108.0 433.63 35-2966 264 3425 2.6 485.0 0.6 AA16 32752 33.6 32752 1.8 34409 1.0 0.0 2.52 35-2966 265 4025 2.0 4.53 35-2966 272 4208 2.8 557.11 91-3619 271 4413 2.60 35-2966 266 3868 2. Chara teristi s of Balas and Carrera instan es CFT WSCP Id Bst Tbst Bst Fbst Apd Tbst Tsol Ibst Isol AA03 33155 61.0 0.92 485.4 257.2 616.0 27947 1.0 4.0 40.0 0.73 175.4 AA12 30809 53.11 755.0 19.05 91-3619 105 7435 4.6 74. Results of CFT and WSCP on Balas and Carrera instan es .92 8.6 34573 1.0 8.8 AA13 33211 8.63 4.19 382.88 7.0 AA04 34573 3.73 1.0 33155 1.Id AA03 AA04 AA05 AA06 AA11 AA12 AA13 AA14 AA15 AA16 AA17 AA18 AA19 AA20 BUS1 BUS2 Table Rows Columns Density (%) Weight Range 106 8661 4.0 4.8 350.4 175.51 120-576 6.67 128.0 AA19 32317 5.1 0.26 1.4 318.01 17.6 34912 1.88 350.

On the instan es from Wedelin the performan e of WSCP is omparable to the one of the CFT and Wedelin algorithms. on the instan es from Balas and Carrera. both WSCP and CFT are always able to . Finally.

while in the BUS instan es CFT . In the AA instan es WSCP is faster that CFT.nd the optimal solution.

onsisting of randomly generated SCP instan es. The results of the experiments indi ate that WSCP is a rather powerful tool for solving large real-life airline rew s heduling problems. and 11. The values of the hara teristi parameters of these problem lasses. The results of the experiments are summarized in Tables 9. . and the NRE-NRH from [5℄. The results for the CFT.2 Experiments on the OR Library SCP Instan es We onsider the families A-D from [4℄. and with the CFT algorithm by Caprara et al [7℄. and Eremeev algorithms are from [11℄. 3. 10. like number of rows and olumns.nds the optimum in a shorter time. WSCP seems to have a more robust behaviour that the two geneti algorithms. We ompare experimentally WSCP with the geneti algorithms by Beasley and Chu [6℄. Ea h lass ontains 5 instan es. are given in Table 8. In parti ular. and by Eremeev [11℄. All the algorithms are able to solve the instan es of the lasses A-D. Beasley Chu. the pu time is estimated in 100MHz Pentium CPU se onds. On these instan es.

nding the optimum in ea h of the 10 trials. WSCP is able to . both in terms of quality of the solutions as well as running time. The performan e of WSCP on the other problem instan es of lasses E-H is rather satisfa tory. On ea h instan e.

nd the optimum or best known solution. while the two geneti algorithms BC and Er do not .

WSCP .nd the optimum value on instan es H1 and H2. Moreover.

The results of the experiments indi ate that WSCP is able to . Id A B C D E F G H Rows 300 300 400 400 500 500 1000 1000 Columns 3000 3000 4000 4000 5000 5000 10000 10000 Density (%) 2 5 2 5 10 20 2 5 Weight Range 1-100 1-100 1-100 1-100 1-100 1-100 1-100 1-100 Table 8. C. Chara teristi s of Classes A.nds the solutions for instan es in the harder lasses G and H in a mu h shorter time than all the other algorithms. B. D 4 Con lusion In this paper we have introdu ed a novel heuristi method for solving large weighted set overing problems.

.nd overs of satisfa tory quality in short running time.

0 1.6 55 1.74 0.2 28 1.40 26.4 H1 63 63 642.00 0.63 0.33 1.98 108.0 0.0 0.3 5.0 1.5 30 0.0 20.35 82.0 1.1 2.0 0.2 G1 176 176 65.64 Beasley Chu Fbst Apd Tsol 0. C.3 1.2 198.05 161.3 154 0.7 14 1.3 F3 14 14 110.26 53.6 72.5 15 1.80 1.0 34.0 266.1 0.4 0.0 0.0 218.0 23.6 85.3 5.0 117.30 7.0 451.2 H5 55 55 68.4 91.0 E2 30 30 180.00 0.00 20.40 0.0 172.7 H3 59 59 690.00 71.23 D 7.8 627.7 34.1 166 0.4 665.2 25.4 20.4 2. and Eremeev on Classes E.6 90.15 B 3.76 0.4 168 0.1 312.9 0.00 0.08 26.0 11.6 319.1 58 0.00 68.0 33.68 0. H .1 E4 28 28 11.6 14 1.5 159.0 1.2 1.0 Table 9.40 1.0 0.8 242.5 H2 63 63 392.93 0.0 13 0.0 96. Beasley and Chu.9 F2 15 15 13.2 1.9 7.3 115. Results for Classes A.0 0.5 29 1.50 52.6 G3 166 166 432.5 0.4 F4 14 14 13. F.Id CFT Tbst A 47.2 796.8 15 1.86 0.7 166 0.0 14 1.6 59 1.0 238.9 30 1.7 0.2 0.7 160.6 34.8 14 1.8 94.70 Eremeev WSCP Fbst Apd Tbst Tsol Fbst Apd Tbst Tsol Ibst Isol 0.0 0.0 1.1 F1 14 14 14.5 28 1.8 E3 27 27 41.0 0.2 170.00 0.0 108.00 0.5 64 1.6 155 0.8 0.9 58 1.6 62.9 29 1.34 C 29.6 234.1 13 0.4 F5 13 13 89.7 0.0 16.0 1.3 64 1.6 743.96 0.0 0.3 176 0.1 1.5 90.30 0.4 67.98 1.0 E5 28 28 16.0 0.41 87.7 14 1.0 168 0.0 26.0 0.0 168 0.3 2.0 0.0 0.0 92.00 0.0 0. B.0 1.8 1.7 27 0.1 64 1.20 65.0 2.2 218.0 0.0 0.0 55.4 151.5 G5 168 168 105.6 168 0.1 27 1.76 72.0 G2 154 154 346.4 497.2 10.4 59 0.6 0.5 28 1.0 11. G.0 94.00 0.44 0.94 0.62 23.1 23.8 7.00 0.6 28 1.0 176 0.2 493.00 0.80 20. Results of CFT.4 55.0 0.0 0.0 0.98 0.0 493.0 7.06 101.65 318. D Id BK Table CFT Beasley Chu Eremeev Bst Tbst Bst Fbst Apd Tsol Bst Fbst Apd Tbst Tsol E1 29 29 11.0 25.0 64 1.0 1.2 H4 58 58 105.8 55 0.0 15.1 G4 168 168 105.5 1.9 14 1.3 226.00 0.9 0.

1 64.9 1433.5 269.9 1016.0 0.6 30. in general a small fra tion (whi h varies from 10 per ent to 50 per ent) of the set of olumns is used as ore.0 315 107. and how the value of the probability of removing a olumn an be adaptively hanged during the exe ution.3 2.2 2. F.2 6.6 9.4 50.7 161.0 0.8 1.3 834.0 1.0 0.7 197.8 1.2 H2 63 63 1.0 0. However.0 812.0 0.0 3.1 34.1 E5 28 28 1. the quality of the results be ome worse by using a larger ore.0 3.1 F5 13 13 1.9 5.3 28. This seems to indi ate that the merit riterion used in WSCP is not the best possible.6 3.1 31.6 19.2 14.4 25. K1 for determining the ore problem. We are a tually investigating the use of alternative merit riteria and their relationship with the sele tion of the ore.4 1872 1872 H3 59 59 0.4 0.7 62. H In all the experiments we have worked with a ore whi h is a proper subset of the set of all olumns.7 29.8 18.9 62.0 0.9 4. G.1 13.8 0. Future work on erns the investigation of how to tune automati ally the parameters K0 . Results of WSCP on Classes E.0 50.2 21. Moreover.1 25.9 H4 58 58 0.5 11.2 0. A knowledgements We would like to thank Thomas Bae k and Martin S huetz for interesting dis ussions on the subje t of this paper.3 48. extensive experiments with dierent ore sizes have revealed a somehow ounter intuitive phenomenon: in many instan es.1 H5 55 55 1.6 778.2 F4 14 14 1.2 29.0 2.2 153.3 678.6 19.Id BK WSCP Bst Fbst Apd Tbst Tsol Ibst Isol E1 29 29 1.7 2.5 1.0 1.1 8.0 0.0 0.6 5.3 1.9 G3 166 166 0. The size of the ore depends on the problem instan e.1 Table 11. Using small ores helps the eÆ ien y of the algorithm.1 9.0 F1 14 14 1.0 5.6 3.0 F3 14 14 1.3 G4 168 168 0.8 5.5 640.1 2061.0 0.7 G2 154 154 0.2 153.5 G1 176 176 1.6 3.8 2 2 E2 30 30 1.0 0.0 9.0 2.9 E3 27 27 1.1 31.0 2.1 23.0 0.7 G5 168 168 0.1 2061.0 5.1 2.5 64.6 F2 15 15 1.6 13.2 1.0 3.0 0.0 2. .0 34. even if the same number of iterations is used.0 6.9 0.3 48.0 0.3 1114.7 207.5 5.3 E4 28 28 1. be ause it an make the wrong de ision when all the olumns are present in the ore.4 H1 63 63 0.

Wedelin. Kluwer S ienti. Andersson. Housos. In Operation Resear h in the Airline Industry. Kohl. Crew pairing optimization. E. E.Referen es 1. and D.

and P. S. 44:875{890. A geneti algorithm with a non-binary represenation for the set overing problem. Sassano.F. An algorithm for set overing problem. M. Transportation S ien e. An algorithm for large s ale 0-1 integer programming with appli ation to airline rew s heduling. M. A geneti algorithm for the set overing problem. Beasley. 10. and A. Garey and D. Mathaisel. of the Fifth IPCO Integer Programming and Combinatorial Optimization Conferen e. Fisher. 57:283{301.S. Beasley. Italy. Springer-Verlag.L. H. Ceria.L. Queyranne. 1969. Balas and M. Pro . 13.V. P. M. and W. A heuristi method for the set overing problem. Interfa es. European Journal of Operational Resear h. European Journal of Operational Resear h.H. of OR'98. A lagrangian heuristi for set overing problems. to appear. Arabeyre. Chu. Carrera. 1985.R. Publishers. In W. Cunningham. An appli ation oriented guide to Lagrangian relaxation. 1979. Caprara. Mathemati al Programming. 4. A dynami subgradient-based bran h-and-bound pro edure for set overing problem. 1995. 9. European Journal of Operational Resear h. 03 1998. Johnson. pages 175{181. Toth. Steiger. Gelman.P. Algorithms for the set overing problem. Fearnley. 2. J. 1995. 94:392{404. E. 1987. 1998. 97:260{268. Fis hetti. A. Wedelin. J. T. J. D. A. M. 1997. Eremeev. F. Toth. Operations Resear h. 31:85{93. (3):140{163. 1997. Caprara. (19):127{138. Nobili. 1996. Transportation S ien e.S. Computers and Intra tability: A Guide to the Theory of NP- ompleteness. editors. Solving large s ale rew s heduling problems. Naval Resear h Logisti s.E. 12.M. Johson. M Cormi k. San Fran is o. Fis hetti. 11. Freeman.C.E. 3. A Lagrangian-based heuristi for large-s ale set overing problems. 37:151{164. Springer-Verlag. 1985. 1996. Ets hmaier and D.E. and M. DEIS Operation Resear h Te hni al Report.C. . Chu. In Pro . and E. Airline s heduling: An overview. Teather. A. Te hni al report. and P.C. The airline rew s heduling problem: A survey. 8. Beasley and P.D. 6. E. 15(2):10{21. M. 5. 1996. J. 7. J. 1990. Annals of Operational Resear h. 14. 15.

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