Evolutionary algorithms, simulated annealing, and Tabu search: A comparative study

Habib Youssef*, Sadiq M. Sait, Hakim Adiche

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Evolutionary algorithms, simulated annealing (SA), and Tabu Search (TS) are general iterative algorithms for combinatorial optimization. The term evolutionary algorithm is used to refer to any probabilistic algorithm whose design is inspired by evolutionary mechanisms found in biological species. Most widely known algorithms of this category are Genetic Algorithms (GA). GA, SA, and TS have been found to be very effective and robust in solving numerous problems from a wide range of application domains.Furthermore, they are even suitable for ill-posed problems where some of the parameters are not known before hand. These properties are lacking in all traditional optimization techniques. In this paper we perform a comparative study among GA, SA, and TS. These algorithms have many similarities, but they also possess distinctive features, mainly in their strategies for searching the solution state space. the three heuristics are applied on the same optimization problem and compared with respect to (1) quality of the best solution identified by each heuristic, (2) progress of the search from initial solution(s) until stopping criteria are met, (3) the progress of the cost of the best solution as a function of time, and (4) the number of solutions found at successive intervals of the cost function. The benchmark problem was is the floorplanning of very large scale integrated circuits. This is a hard multi-criteria optimization problem. Fuzzy logic is used to combine all objective criteria into a single fuzzy evaluation function, which is then used to rate competing solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-105
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1998


  • Combinatorial optimization
  • Floorplanning
  • Fuzzy logic
  • Genetic algorithms
  • Simulated annealing
  • Tabu search
  • VLSI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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