A re-characterization of hyper-heuristics

Jerry Swan, Patrick De Causmaecker, Simon Martin, Ender Özcan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution


Hyper-heuristics are an optimization methodology which ‘search the space of heuristics’ rather than directly searching the space of the underlying candidate-solution representation. Hyper-heuristic search has traditionally been divided into two layers: a lower problem-domain layer (where domain-specific heuristics are applied) and an upper hyper-heuristic layer, where heuristics are selected or generated. The interface between the two layers is commonly termed the “domain barrier”. Historically this interface has been defined to be highly restrictive, in the belief that this is required for generality. We argue that this prevailing conception of domain barrier is so limiting as to defeat the original motivation for hyper-heuristics. We show how it is possible to make use of domain knowledge without loss of generality and describe generalized hyper-heuristics which can incorporate arbitrary domain knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecent Developments of Metaheuristics
EditorsF. Yalaoui L. Amodeo E-G. Talbi
Number of pages16
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Sept 2017

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