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An efficient self-organizing map designed by genetic algorithms for the traveling salesman problem

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4 Author(s)
Hui-Dong Jin ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong, China ; Kwong-Sak Leung ; Man-Leung Wong ; Z. -B. Xu

As a typical combinatorial optimization problem, the traveling salesman problem (TSP) has attracted extensive research interest. In this paper, we develop a self-organizing map (SOM) with a novel learning rule. It is called the integrated SOM (ISOM) since its learning rule integrates the three learning mechanisms in the SOM literature. Within a single learning step, the excited neuron is first dragged toward the input city, then pushed to the convex hull of the TSP, and finally drawn toward the middle point of its two neighboring neurons. A genetic algorithm is successfully specified to determine the elaborate coordination among the three learning mechanisms as well as the suitable parameter setting. The evolved ISOM (eISOM) is examined on three sets of TSP to demonstrate its power and efficiency. The computation complexity of the eISOM is quadratic, which is comparable to other SOM-like neural networks. Moreover, the eISOM can generate more accurate solutions than several typical approaches for TSP including the SOM developed by Budinich, the expanding SOM, the convex elastic net, and the FLEXMAP algorithm. Though its solution accuracy is not yet comparable to some sophisticated heuristics, the eISOM is one of the most accurate neural networks for the TSP.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B (Cybernetics)  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 6 )