Golden Ball: A Novel Meta-Heuristic to Solve Combinatorial Optimization Problems Based on Soccer Concepts


Nowadays, the development of new metaheuristics for solving optimization problems is a topic of interest in the scientific community. In the literature, a large number of techniques of this kind can be found. Anyway, there are many recently proposed techniques, such as the artificial bee colony and imperialist competitive algorithm. This paper is focused on one recently published technique, the one called Golden Ball (GB). The GB is a multiple-population metaheuristic based on soccer concepts. Although it was designed to solve combinatorial optimization problems, until now, it has only been tested with two simple routing problems: the traveling salesman problem and the capacitated vehicle routing problem. In this paper, the GB is applied to four different combinatorial optimization problems. Two of them are routing problems, which are more complex than the previously used ones: the asymmetric traveling salesman problem and the vehicle routing problem with backhauls. Additionally, one constraint satisfaction problem (the n-queen problem) and one combinatorial design problem (the one-dimensional bin packing problem) have also been used. The outcomes obtained by GB are compared with the ones got by two different genetic algorithms and two distributed genetic algorithms. Additionally, two statistical tests are conducted to compare these results.