A Research Agenda for Metaheuristic Standardization

Hart, E., Sim, K. (2015, ). A Research Agenda for Metaheuristic Standardization. Paper presented at 11th Metaheuristics International Conference, Agadir.



We propose that the development of standardized, explicit, machine-readable descriptions of metaheuris- tics will greatly advance scientific progress in the field. In particular, we advocate a purely functional description of metaheuristics — separate from any metaphors that inspire them and with no hidden mechanisms. A recent policy statement in the Journal of Heuristics1 highlights the need for improved research practice for metaheuristics via increased transparency of implementation and understanding of the contribution of their component parts. We describe here how addressing these issues via explicit descriptions can also offer further benefits. Standardization and pure-functional descriptions promote a higher standard of rigor for both communication and reproducibility of results. The modularity of our proposed approach opens up opportunities to compose heuristics in novel ways, along with better support for parallel processing. Most significantly, it is the basis for a greater degree of mechanized reasoning: we discuss how this might support large-scale collaborative research activity, leading to automated dis- covery, mining and assembly of metaheuristics.
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Emma Hart
Director of CEC
+44 131 455 2783
Kevin Sim
+44 131 455 2497

Areas of Expertise

Bio-inspired Computing
The Bio-Inspired Algorithms group within the Centre for Algorithms, Visualisation and Evolving Systems is a large and thriving group with interests in nature-inspired computing that include Evolutionary Computing, Hyper-Heuristics, Artificial Immune Systems and Swarm Intelligence.