A parallel GRASP for the Steiner tree problem in graphs using a hybrid local search strategy

S.L. Martins, M.G.C. Resende, C.C. Ribeiro, and P.M. Pardalos

J. of Global Optimization, vol.17, pp. 267-283, 2000.


In this paper, we present a parallel greedy randomized adaptive search procedure (GRASP) for the Steiner problem in graphs.  GRASP is a two phase metaheuristic.  In the first phase, solutions are constructed using a greedy randomized procedure.  Local search is applied in the second phase, leading to a local minimum with respect to a specified neighborhood.  In the Steiner problem in graphs, feasible solutions can be characterized by their non-terminal nodes (Steiner nodes) or by their key-paths.  According to this characterization, two GRASP procedures are described using different local search strategies.  Both use an identical construction procedure.  The first uses a node-based neighborhood for local search, while the second uses a path-based neighborhood. Computational results comparing the two procedures show that while the node-based variant produces better quality solutions, the path-based variant is about twice as fast.  A hybrid GRASP procedure combining the two neighborhood search strategies is then proposed.  Computational experiments with a parallel implementation of the hybrid procedure are reported, showing that the algorithm found optimal solutions for 45 out of 60 benchmark instances and was never off by more than four percent of the optimal solution value.  The average speedup results observed for the test problems show that increasing the number of processors reduces elapsed times with increasing speedups.  Moreover, the main contribution of the parallel algorithm concerns the fact that larger speedups of the same order of the number of processors are obtained exactly for the most difficult problems.

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