Hyper-heuristics: Past, Present and Future
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This presentation provides a review of the early work of hyper-heuristics, current work that is being undertaken followed by a discussion of open research challenges. This is a Powerpoint Slideshow ...

This presentation provides a review of the early work of hyper-heuristics, current work that is being undertaken followed by a discussion of open research challenges. This is a Powerpoint Slideshow version. A PDF version is also available.

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    Hyper-heuristics: Past, Present and Future Hyper-heuristics: Past, Present and Future Presentation Transcript

    • Hyper-heuristics: Past Present and Future
      Graham Kendall
      gxk@cs.nott.ac.uk
    • Contents
      Past
      • A selection of early work
      Present
      • Current State of the Art
      Future
      • Potential Research Directions for the Future
      Albert Einstein
      1879 - 1955
      “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
    • Contents
      Past
      • A selection of early work
      Present
      • Current State of the Art
      Future
      • Potential Research Directions for the Future
      Albert Einstein
      1879 - 1955
      “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
    • Fisher H. and Thompson G.L. (1963) Probabilistic Learning Combinations of Local Job-shop Scheduling Rules. In Muth J.F. and Thompson G.L. (eds) Industrial Scheduling, Prentice Hall Inc., New Jersey, 225-251
      Based on (I assume)
      Fisher H. and Thompson G.L. (1961) Probabilistic Learning Combinations of Local Job-shop Scheduling Rules. In Factory Scheduling Conference, Carnegie Institute of Technology
    • 6 x 6*6 Test Problem (times in brackets)
      “The number of feasible active schedules is, by a conservative estimate, well over a million, so their complete enumeration is out of the question.”
      • Also 10 (jobs) x 10 (operations) and 20 (jobs) x 5 (operations) problems
    • 6 x 6*6 Test Problem (times in brackets)
      Job 3, 1, 2, 5, 4, 6
    • 6 x 6*6 Test Problem (times in brackets)
      • Two Rules
      • SIO: Shortest Imminent Operation (“First on, First Off”)
      • LRT: Longest Remaining Time
      • Only require knowledge of “your” machine
      • Monte Carlo: 58 time Units
      • SIO: 67 time units
      • LRT: 61 time units
      • Optimal: 55 time units
      • SIO should be used initially (get the machines to start work) and LRT later (work on the longest jobs)
      • Why not combine the two heuristics?
      • Four learning models, rewarding good heuristic selection
    • Remarks
      • Not sure about reproducibility (e.g. reward/punishment functions)
      • An unbiased random combination of scheduling rules is better than any of them taken separately
      • “Learning is possible, but there is a question as to whether learning is desirable given the effectiveness of the random combination”
      • “It is not clear what is being learnt as the original conjecture was not strongly supported”
      • “It is likely that combinations of 5-10 rules would out-perform humans”
    • Fang H-L., Ross P. and Corne D. (1993) A Promising genetic Algorithm Approach to Job-Shop Scheduling, Reschecduling, and Open-Shop Scheduling Problems. In Forrest S. (ed) Fifth International Conference on Genetic Algorithms, Morgan Kaufmann, San Mateo, 375-383
    • Representation
      • For a j x m problem, a string represents j x mchunks.
      • The chunk is atomic from a GA perspective.
      • The chunks abc means to put the first untackled task of the ath uncompleted job into the earliest place it will fit in the developing schedule, then put the bth uncompleted job into ….
      • A schedule builder decodes the chromosome.
      • Fairly standard GA e.g. population size of 500, rank based selection, elitism, 300 generations, crossover rate 0.6, adaptive mutation rate
    • Other Remarks
      • Considered Job-Shop Scheduling and Open-Shop Scheduling
      • Experimented with different GA parameters
      • Results compared favourably with best known or optimal
    • Denzinger J. and Fuchs M. (1997) High Performance ATP Systems by Combining Several AI Methods. In proceedings of the Fifteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 97), 102-107
    • Remarks
      • The first paper to use the term Hyper-heuristic
      • Used in the context of an automated theorem prover
      • A hyper-heuristic stores all the information necessary to reproduce a certain part of the proof and is used instead of a single heuristic
    • O’Grady P.J. and Harrison (1985) A General Search Sequencing Rule for Job Shop Sequencing. International Journal of Production Research, 23(5), 961-973
    • Remarks
      Pi = (Ai x Ti) + (Bi x Si)
      where
      Pi the priority index for job i at its current stage
      Ai a 1 x m coefficient vector for job i
      Ti a m x 1 vector which contains the remaining operation times for job i in process order
      Bi the due date priority coefficient for job i
      Sithe due date slack for job i
      m the maximum number of processing stages for jobs 1 to i
    • Remarks
      Pi = (Ai x Ti) + (Bi x Si)
      where
      Pi the priority index for job i at its current stage
      Ai a 1 x m coefficient vector for job i
      Ti a m x 1 vector which contains the remaining operation times for job i in process order
      Bi the due date priority coefficient for job i
      Sithe due date slack for job i
      m the maximum number of processing stages for jobs 1 to i
      A = (1,0,0,0,0,…,0), B = 0
      Shortest Imminent Operation Time
      A = (0,0,0,0,0,…,0), B = 1
      Due Date Sequencing
    • Remarks
      Pi = (Ai x Ti) + (Bi x Si)
      where
      Pi the priority index for job i at its current stage
      Ai a 1 x m coefficient vector for job i
      Ti a m x 1 vector which contains the remaining operation times for job i in process order
      Bi the due date priority coefficient for job I
      Sithe due date slack for job i
      m the maximum number of processing stages for jobs 1 to i
      A search is performed over Ai and Bi in order to cause changes in the processing sequences.
    • Norenkov I. P. and Goodman E D. (1997) Solving Scheduling Problems via Evolutionary Methods for Rule Sequence Optimization. In proceedings of the 2nd World Conference on Soft Computing (WSC2)
    • Remarks
      • Similar in idea to Fang, Ross and Corne (1994)
      • The allele at the ith position is the heuristic to be applied at the ith step of the scheduling process.
      • Comparison with using eight single heuristics and the Heuristic Combination Method (HCM) was found to be superior.
    • Other (Selected) Papers
      • Crowston W.B., Glover F., Thompson G.L. and Trawick J.D. (1963) Probabilistic and Parameter Learning Combinations of Local Job Shop Scheduling Rules. ONR Research Memorandum, GSIA, Carnegie Mellon University
      • Storer R.H., Wu S.D. and Vaccari R. (1992) New Search Spaces for Sequencing Problems with Application to Job Shop Scheduling. Management Science, 38(10), 1495-1509
      • Battiti R. (1996) Reactive Search: Toward Self Tuning Heuristics. In Rayward-Smith R.J., Osman I.H., Reeves C.R. and Smith G.D. (eds) Modern Heuristics Search methods, John Wiley, 61-83
    • Contents
      Past
      • A selection of early work
      Present (Heuristics to Choose Heuristics)
      • Current State of the Art
      Future
      • Potential Research Directions for the Future
      Albert Einstein
      1879 - 1955
      “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
    • H2
      Hn
      Heuristics to Choose Heuristics
      Hyper-heuristic
      Data flow
      Domain Barrier
      Data flow
      Set of low level heuristics
      H1
      ……
      Evaluation Function
    • Choice Function
      • f1 + f2 + f3
      • f1 = How well has each heuristic performed
      • f2 = How well have pairs of heuristics performed
      • f3 = Time since last called
    • Tabu Search
      • Low level heuristics compete with each other
      • Recent heuristics are made tabu
      • Rank low level heuristics based on their estimated performance potential
    • Case Based Heuristic Selection
      • Find heuristics that worked well in previous similar problem solving situations
      • Features discovered in similarity measure – key research issue
    • Adaptive Ordering Strategies
      • Based on Squeaky Wheel Optimisation
      • Consider constructive heuristics as orderings
      • Adapt the ordering by a heuristic modifier according to the penalty imposed by certain features
      • Generative
    • Contents
      Past
      • A selection of early work
      Present (Generating Heuristics)
      • Current State of the Art
      Future
      • Potential Research Directions for the Future
    • H2
      Hn
      Generating heuristics
      Hyper-heuristic
      • Rather than supply a set of low level heuristics, generate the heuristics automatically
      • Heuristics could be one off (disposal) heuristics or could be applicable to many problem instances
      Data flow
      Domain Barrier
      Data flow
      Set of low level heuristics
      H1
      ……
      Evaluation Function
    • Generating heuristics
      Burke E. K., Hyde M. and Kendall G. Evolving Bin Packing Heuristics With Genetic Programming. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Problem Parallel Solving from Nature (PPSN 2006), pp 860-869, LNCS 4193, Reykjavik, Iceland, 9-13 Sepetmber 2006
    • Generating heuristics
      • Evolves a control program that decides whether to put a given piece into a given bin
      • First-fit heuristic evolved from Genetic Programming without human input on benchmark instances
      For each piece, p, not yet packed
      For each bin, i
      output = evaluate(p, fullness of i, capacity of i)
      if (output > 0)
      place piece p in bin i
      break
      fi
      End For
      End For
    • Contents
      Past
      • A selection of early work
      Present
      • Current State of the Art
      Future
      • Potential Research Directions for the Future
      Albert Einstein
      1879 - 1955
      “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
    • Results on Standard Datasets
      • Many early papers investigated JSSP. There is an opportunity to investigate if the current state of the art is able to beat these and set new benchmarks
      • Why not apply hyper-heuristics to more current benchmarks (TSP, VRP, QAP etc.).
    • Benchmark datasets
      • We need to add to resources such as OR-LIB so that we are able to compare hyper-heuristic approaches.
      • We need to have access to benchmarks that are understandable, perceived as fair and which are not open to many interpretations.
    • Comparison against benchmarks
      • Using the “good enough, soon enough, cheap enough” mantra we don’t claim to be competitive with bespoke solutions, but we are interested if we can beat best known solutions.
      • Why are some hyper-heuristics better than others – and on what class of problems?
      • Robustness vs quality and how do we measure that?
    • Ant Algorithm based Hyper-heuristics
      • Ant algorithms draw their inspiration from the way ants forage for food.
      • Two major elements to an ant algorithm.
      • Pheromone values
      • Heuristic values
    • Visibility
      Trail Intensity
      Ant Algorithm based hyper-heuristics
    • Visibility
      Heuristic Synergy
      Ant Algorithm based hyper-heuristics
    • “Good enough, soon enough, cheap enough”
      • What does this actually mean?
      • Will the scientific community accept that this is a fair way to compare results?
      Different Evaluations
    • “Good enough, soon enough, cheap enough”
      • How do we know if a solution is “good enough”?
      • User feedback?
      • Within a given value of best known solution?
      • We get bored running the algorithm?
      • The cost of accepting the solution is acceptable?
      • Two evaluation mechanisms?
      Not Good Enough!
    • “Good enough, soon enough, cheap enough”
      • How do we know if a solution is “soon enough”?
      • Meet a critical deadline?
      • Run as long as we can?
      • Can be embedded in a realtime system?
      Soon Enough!
    • “Good enough, soon enough, cheap enough”
      • How do we know if a solution is “cheap enough”?
      • Can be embedded in “off-the-shelf” software?
      • Development costs are significantly lower writing a bespoke system?
      • Can be run on a standard PC, rather than requiring specialised hardware?
      Cheap Enough!
    • Comparing Hyper-heuristics
      • How can we compare different hyper-heuristics so that reviewers have a way of fairly judging new contributions
      • What do we mean by “One hyper-heuristic is better than another”?
    • Anti-heuristics
      • There is/has been a significant amount of research investigating how we can “choose which heuristic to select at each decision point”
      • There could also be some benefit in investigating hyper-heuristics that are obviously bad and seeing if the hyper-heuristic is able to learn/adapt not to use them
    • Minimal Heuristics
      • Many of the hyper-heuristic papers effectively say “choose a set of low level heuristics…”
      • But, can we define a minimal set of heuristics that operate well across different problems (e.g. add, delete and swap)?
    • Evolve heuristics
      • We can ignore “choose a set of low level heuristics…” if we can generate our own set of human competitive heuristics
      • We have utilised genetic programming and adaptive constructive heuristics but there remains lots of scope for further investigation.
    • Co-evolution
      • Heuristics compete for survival
      • Similarities with genetic algorithms etc., but there is a wide scope of possible research in this area.
      Arthur Samuel
      1901 – 1990
      An AI Pioneer
    • Hybridisations
      • Is there anything to be gained from hybridising various methodologies?
      • There has been success with exact methods and meta-heuristics
      • What about hybridising hyper-heuristics with meta-heuristics, exact approaches, user interaction etc?
    • User interaction
      • How can users interact with hyper-heuristics?
      • Introduce/delete heuristics as the search progresses?
      • Prohibit some areas of the search space?
      • Provide a time/quality trade off?
    • Framework
      • There is a large learning curve and high buy-in to develop a hyper-heuristic
      • Tools such as GA-LIB help the community to utilise the tools and to carry out research
      • But, what should this framework enable you to do? Choose heuristics, generate heuristics?
    • A unifying theory
      • What is the formal relationship between heuristics, meta-heuristics and hyper-heuristics (and even exact methods)?
      Stephen Hawking
      1942 -
    • A unifying theory
      • Can we analyse the landscape of the different search methodologies?
      • Can we move between different search spaces during the search?
      Stephen Hawking
      1942 -
    • A unifying theory
      • Can we offer convergence guarantees?
      • Can we offer guarantees of solution quality and/or robustness?
      Stephen Hawking
      1942 -
    • Questions/Discussion