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Theoretical Aspects of Local Search (Monographs in Theoretical Computer Science. An EATCS Series) Hardcover – February 2, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


From the reviews:

"This book focuses on theoretical aspects, in mainly three areas: performance guarantees, time complexity, asymptotic convergence. … Throughout the authors avoid excessive and unnecessary formalism which leads to a style that makes even the more technical proofs quite easily readable. The book is suitable for a postgraduate course on the theory of local search. With its collection of results concerning the theoretical aspects of local search it is a most welcome addition to the literature on the topic." (Matthias Ehrgott, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1130 (8), 2008)

"The book gives a nice overview of theoretical results obtained for some local search algorithms used to solve combinatorial optimization problems. … The book is written for students from graduate level and for interested scholars working on related fields of science and engineering. … it can be recommended as an introductory textbook as well. … The authors did a good job in selecting the material, and the presentation is also nice. The book can be well recommended to the interested reader." (Tibor Csendes, Siam Review, Vol. 50 (3), 2008)

"Theoretical Aspects of Local Search focuses on local search for combinatorial optimization problems. … This book provides deep theoretical analysis; it includes many theorems and proofs and some examples. Each chapter has bibliographical notes and exercises. I recommend it to students and researchers who … are interested in the theoretical aspects of local search." (Julius Žilinskas, Interfaces, Vol. 38 (3), 2008)

"The book focuses on three main topics: performance guarantees, investigations of time complexity, and asymptotic convergence studies in the case where a probabilistic iteration mechanism is applied. … Overall, this book brings to its readers many fresh ideas in the field of local search. … The book is very well written, and authored by well-known researchers involved in the field. … the book will be very useful for researchers, students, and engineers involved in optimization." (Patrick Siarry, ACM Computing Reviews, Vol. 49 (5), 2008)

"As the title of the book indicates, the authors focus on the theoretical aspects of local search. … I can recommend the book to readers who are interested in such an introduction. The book should be particularly interesting for students who already know the basic concepts in complexity theory and are eager to see what these (and related) concepts are good for in the world of local search." (Hans-Ulrich Simon, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2009 g)

“The authors of the book under review are in an excellent position to write a very different account. … clearly aimed at advanced undergraduate students, although the blurb mentions ‘researchers and graduate students’ as the intended audience. … the book provides a concise and easily understandable introduction to the basics of local search, an important concept in the design of heuristics. … it is well-suited for a term-long course on heuristic design for theoretically-inclined undergraduates and first-year graduate students.” (Jakub Mareček, SIGACT News, Vol. 40 (2), 2009)

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Product Details

  • Series: Monographs in Theoretical Computer Science. An EATCS Series
  • Hardcover: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2007 edition (February 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3540358536
  • ISBN-13: 978-3540358534
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,699,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
The authors survey a bunch of classic and important problems in computation. Travelling salesman, machine scheduling and graph colours amongst others. There have been decades of research into these. Certainly, earlier texts have also arisen, that attempt to summarise this research. Perhaps the attraction of this book is its recent vintage.

It goes into the main methods used. Like simulated annealing, and the Metropolis Monte Carlo algorithm. There are theories of how to estimate the computational complexity of the methods. Measured as a function of the problem size. With a key idea being how to efficiently search a "small" neighbourhood of a parameter space. Since it is impractical to exhaustively search all possible values, even if this is finite.

The book is certainly very theoretical. But lest you think the problems are abstract, there is one which is increasingly germane in the computing world. Multiprocessor scheduling. Especially since clock speeds are maxing out, due to excessive power consumption amongst other factors. So the other way to improve performance is to migrate to multicores. Now, this might not appear at first to be exactly the multiprocessor scheduling problem. But in fact it is. The issue of how to efficiently use a bunch of cores in the same processor is fundamentally no different.
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Theoretical Aspects of Local Search (Monographs in Theoretical Computer Science. An EATCS Series)
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