On the influence of using initialization functions on genetic algorithms solving combinatorial optimization problems: a first study on the TSP

Abstract

Combinatorial optimization is a widely studied field within artificial intelligence. There are many problems of this type, and many techniques applied to them can be found in the literature. Especially, population techniques have received much attention in this area, being genetic algorithms (GA) the most famous ones. Although throughout history many studies on GAs have been performed, there is still no study like the presented in this work. In this paper, a study on the influence of using heuristic initialization functions in genetic algorithms (GA) applied to combinatorial optimization problems is performed. Being the first phase of this research, the study is conducted using one of the best known problems in combinatorial optimization: the traveling salesman problem. Three different experimentations are carried out, using three different heuristic initialization functions. Additionally, for each experiment four versions of a GA have been developed for the comparison. Each of these variant differs in the initialization phase. The results obtained by each GA are compared to determine the influence of the use of heuristic functions for the initialization of the population.