Constructing selection hyper-heuristics for open vehicle routing with time delay neural networks using multiple experts

Raras Tyasnurita, Ender Özcan, John H. Drake*, Shahriar Asta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Hyper-heuristics are general purpose search methods for solving computationally difficult problems. A selection hyper-heuristic is composed of two key components: a heuristic selection method and move acceptance criterion. Under an iterative single-point search framework, a solution is modified by selecting and applying a predefined low-level heuristic, with a decision then taken to accept or reject the resulting solution. Designing a selection hyper-heuristic is an extremely challenging task. In this study, we investigate computer-aided design of a selection hyper-heuristic for the open vehicle routing problem. A time delay neural network is used as an offline apprenticeship learning method. Our approach first observes the search behaviour of multiple expert human-designed selection hyper-heuristics on a selected sample of training instances, before automatically generating a selection hyper-heuristic capable of solving unseen instances effectively. The proposed approach is tested on open vehicle routing problem instances of different sizes to examine the performance and generality of the selection hyper-heuristics generated. Improved performance is demonstrated over a set of well-known benchmarks from the literature when compared to using the existing expert systems directly.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111731
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Apprenticeship learning
  • Combinatorial optimisation
  • Machine learning
  • Metaheuristics
  • Vehicle routing


Dive into the research topics of 'Constructing selection hyper-heuristics for open vehicle routing with time delay neural networks using multiple experts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this