Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering

Department

Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Manbir Sodhi

Abstract

The Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) is one of the most ubiquitous combinatorial optimization problems. Given a set of cities, the objective of the TSP is to generate a solution that ultimately minimizes the total distance traveled and ensures that each city on the tour is visited exactly once. The TSP is classified as NP-hard, which implies that there is no polynomial time algorithm to solve the problem to optimality. Consequently, exact algorithms cannot be utilized to generate solutions in reasonable computing time. Metaheuristics have drawn much attention in recent years and many advancements have been facilitated by hybrid approaches wherein inspiration is drawn from other fields of study. Less research has focused on the utilization of hybrid strategies for the advancement of classic heuristic approaches.

This thesis presents a novel design conjoining two classic construction heuristics with density-based clustering. The density-based spatial clustering of applications with noise (DBSCAN) is used in conjunction with both the nearest neighbor and greedy heuristics. The efficacy of this method is evaluated by comparing non-aided greedy and nearest neighbor heuristics with those utilized in combination with DBSCAN. The results show that heuristic methods utilizing DBSCAN can facilitate a significant reduction in computation time while improving the quality of solutions obtained when compared with classic construction heuristics.

Available for download on Saturday, July 28, 2018

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