NeuroLKH: Combining Deep Learning Model with Lin-Kernighan-Helsgaun Heuristic for Solving the Traveling Salesman Problem

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)

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Liang Xin, Wen Song, Zhiguang Cao, Jie Zhang


We present NeuroLKH, a novel algorithm that combines deep learning with the strong traditional heuristic Lin-Kernighan-Helsgaun (LKH) for solving Traveling Salesman Problem. Specifically, we train a Sparse Graph Network (SGN) with supervised learning for edge scores and unsupervised learning for node penalties, both of which are critical for improving the performance of LKH. Based on the output of SGN, NeuroLKH creates the edge candidate set and transforms edge distances to guide the searching process of LKH. Extensive experiments firmly demonstrate that, by training one model on a wide range of problem sizes, NeuroLKH significantly outperforms LKH and generalizes well to much larger sizes. Also, we show that NeuroLKH can be applied to other routing problems such as Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem (CVRP), Pickup and Delivery Problem (PDP), and CVRP with Time Windows (CVRPTW).