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March 10, 2022 13:52
March 10, 2022 13:52
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March 10, 2022 13:52

Guide for the 380CT Assignment on TSP

The actual part you need to submit is the Metaheuristics section. The rest is meant to introduce you to the basics.


  • Ensure you have Jupyter.

  • Familiarise yourself with Jupyter functionaility. Consider taking LinkedIn Learning courses (free through the university) or any suitable alternatives. Here is a recommended set (e.g. each member of the group takes one):

  • Load and study Investigating TSP.ipynb.

    • Can you improve any of the functions to make them more efficient?
    • See how large you can make n while testing exhaustive_search().
    • Check that greedy_nearest_neighbours() is correct. If not then fix it!
  • Read the Wikipedia article on TSP. Pay attention to th Computing a solution section, and especially to the 2-opt and 3-opt techniques for defining neighbourhoods.

  • Experiment with generating your own graph families. For example:

    • Euclidean graphs: generate points using (x,y) coordinates, then generate the adjacency matrix by calculating all the required distances. Recall that the distance between two points (x1,y1) and (x2,y2) is sqrt[(x1-x2)2+(y1-y2)2].
    • Graphs with obvious shortest cycle: think of a graph where all the distances are 2 except for the edges on a predefined cycle, where the distance is 1. Such a graph would be useful for testing/debugging the nearest neighbours greedy search.

  • You can use Template.ipynb to start writing the part you need to submit (about meta-heuristics).
  • I propose you work as follows (You don't have to follow this though!):
    • Ensure you are familiar with the TSP problem, 2-opt and 3-opt local search techniques. (See this Wikipedia article)
    • Decide which meta-heuristics you want to try. Watch the guest lecture videos and check the literature related to TSP and the meta-heuristics you are thinking of.
  • You may try Google Colab and/or Microsoft Azure if that helps you work better, but please be aware that I am not sure about their GDPR compliance.

I should emphasise here that "exhaustive search" and "greedy" are *not meta-heuristics, nor are 2-opt and 3-opt. Ensure this is clear to you.

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