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Genetic Algorithms and the Traveling Salesman Problem

by Kylie Bryant


Genetic algorithms are an evolutionary technique that use crossover and mutation operators to solve optimization problems using a survival of the fittest idea. They have been used successfully in a variety of different problems, including the traveling salesman problem. In the traveling salesman problem we wish to find a tour of all nodes in a weighted graph so that the total weight is minimized. The traveling salesman problem is NP-hard but has many real world applications so a good solution would be useful. Many different crossover and mutation operators have been devised for the traveling salesman problem and each give different results. We compare these results and find that operators that use heuristic information or a matrix representation of the graph give the best results.

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