SE3MH11-Modern Heuristics

Module Provider: School of Systems Engineering
Number of credits: 10 [5ECTS credits]
Level: 6
Terms in which taught: Autumn
Module Convenor: Mr PR Minchinton
Pre-requisites: CY2D9
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2011/2


This module aims to describe modern problem solving heuristics and discuss their role as cybernetic feedback systems, and to describe clustering algorithms and their applications.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students should be able to understand the wide range of modern heuristics and demonstrate an appreciation of their applications; and choose a suitable optimisation or modelling technique and use it solve a given problem.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:
Modern Heuristics: Problem Domain Definition: NP-Hard and NP-Complete problems, multi-modality, epistasis and correlation effects. Modelling. Temporal vs static problems. Blind search. Representation, objectives and fitness function. Local optimum and niching. Completeness. Travelling salesman, non-linear programming and satisfiability problems. Enumerated, local search and greedy algorithm solutions. Advanced techniques; dynamic programming vs branch and bound technique. Evolutionary algorithms. The effect of feedback. Constraint handling and numerical optimisation.
Optimisation and Modelling: This course covers various optimisation techniques including the Simplex method, the Big M method, the transportation method, the Assignment problem, Critical path analysis, the simulation of discrete events using a calendar queue and Dynamic programming.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module comprises 2 lectures per week and some revision tutorials.

Contact hours:

  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Other contact (eg study visits)      
Total hours 20   
Number of essays or assignments      
Other (eg major seminar paper)      

Relative percentage of coursework : 0%
One 2 hour paper, comprising two questions on each topic.
Requirements for a pass
A mark of 40% overall
Reassessment arrangements
Examination only.

Last updated: 6 April 2011

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