|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 4|
The Far From Most Strings Problem (FFMSP) is to obtain a string which is far from as many as possible of a given set of strings. All the input and the output strings are of the same length, and two strings are said to be far if their hamming distance is greater than or equal to a given positive integer. FFMSP belongs to the class of sequences consensus problems which have applications in molecular biology. The problem is NP-hard; it does not admit a constant-ratio approximation either, unless P = NP. Therefore, in addition to exact and approximate algorithms, (meta)heuristic algorithms have been proposed for the problem in recent years. On the other hand, in the recent years, hybrid algorithms have been proposed and successfully used for many hard problems in a variety of domains. In this paper, a new metaheuristic algorithm, called Constructive Beam and Local Search (CBLS), is investigated for the problem, which is a hybridization of constructive beam search and local search algorithms. More specifically, the proposed algorithm consists of two phases, the first phase is to obtain several candidate solutions via the constructive beam search and the second phase is to apply local search to the candidate solutions obtained by the first phase. The best solution found is returned as the final solution to the problem. The proposed algorithm is also similar to memetic algorithms in the sense that both use local search to further improve individual solutions. The CBLS algorithm is compared with the most recent published algorithm for the problem, GRASP, with significantly positive results; the improvement is by order of magnitudes in most cases.