Creating and sharing knowledge for telecommunications

Optimizing network load balancing: an hybridization approach of metaheuristics with column generation

Santos, D. ; Sousa, A. F. ; Alvelos, F. ; Pióro, M.

Telecommunication Systems Vol. 52, Nº 2, pp. 959 - 968, February, 2013.

ISSN (print): 1018-4864
ISSN (online): 1572-9451

Journal Impact Factor: 1,099 (in 2014)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1007/s11235-011-9604-3

Given a capacitated telecommunications network with single path routing and an estimated traffic demand matrix, we aim to determine the routing path of each traffic commodity such that the whole set of paths provide an optimal network load balancing. In a recent paper, we have proposed a column generation based heuristic where, in the first step, we use column generation to solve a linear programming relaxation of the original problem (obtaining, in this way, a lower bound and a set of paths for each commodity) and, in the second step, we apply a multi-start local search with path relinking heuristic on the solution space defined by the paths of the first step. Here, we propose a hybridization approach of the metaheuristic with column generation that can be seen as an enhanced version of the previous approach: we run column generation not only at the beginning (to define the initial search space) but also during the search. These additional column generation steps consist in solving a perturbed problem defined by the incumbent solution. In the previous paper, we have shown that the first approach is efficient in obtaining near optimal routing solutions within short running times. With the enhanced version, we show through computational results that the additional paths, introduced by the additional column generation steps, either improve the efficiency of the algorithm or show similar efficiency in the cases where the original algorithm is already very efficient.