A heuristic manipulation technique for the sequential ordering problem

Derek Smith, L.M. Gambardella, R. Montemanni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sequential ordering problem is a version of the asymmetric travelling salesman problem where precedence constraints on vertices are imposed. A tour is feasible if these constraints are respected, and the objective is to find a feasible solution with minimum cost. The sequential ordering problem models many real-world applications, mainly in the fields of transportation and production planning. A problem manipulation technique to be used in conjunction with heuristic algorithms is discussed. The aim of the technique is to make the search space associated with each problem more attractive for the underlying heuristic algorithms. This novel methodology is tested in combination with the state-of-the-art for the sequential ordering problem. Improved results are obtained, particularly for the largest problems considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3931 - 3944
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and Operations Research
Issue number12
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jan 2008


  • problem manipulation techniques
  • ant colony optimization
  • asymmetric travelling salesmen
  • scheduling


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