SLS 2007
Engineering Stochastic Local Search Algorithms
Designing, Implementing and Analyzing Effective Heuristics
3-4 September 2009. Brussels, Belgium
Call for Papers
Doctoral Symposium
Doctoral Symposium

Call for Papers

Document prepared on July 7, 2008

Scope of the Workshop

Stochastic local search (SLS) algorithms are among the most powerful techniques for solving computationally hard problems in many areas of computing science, operations research and engineering. SLS techniques range from rather simple constructive and iterative improvement algorithms to general-purpose SLS methods, also widely known as metaheuristics, such as ant colony optimization, evolutionary computation, iterated local search, memetic algorithms, simulated annealing, tabu search and variable neighbourhood search.

In recent years, it has become evident that the development of effective SLS algorithms is a complex engineering process that typically combines aspects of algorithm design and implementation with empirical analysis and problem-specific background knowledge. The difficulty of this process is in part due to the complexity of the problems being tackled and in part due to the large number of degrees of freedom researchers and practitioners face when developing SLS algorithms.

This development process needs to be assisted by a sound methodology that adresses the issues arising in the phases of algorithm design, implementation, tuning and experimental evaluation. In addition, more research is required to understand which SLS techniques are best suited for particular problem types and to better understand the relationship between algorithm components, parameter settings, problem characteristics and performance.

The three-day workshop will be held in Brussels, Belgium, on 3-5 September 2009.

Relevant Research Areas

The aim of this workshop is to stress the importance of an integration of relevant aspects of SLS research into a more coherent engineering methodology and to bring together researchers that work in various fields, including computing science, operations research, metaheuristics, algorithmics, statistics and application areas.

SLS 2009 solicits contributions dealing with any aspect of engineering stochastic local search algorithms. Typical, but not exclusive, topics of interest are:

  • Methodological developments for the implementation of SLS algorithms (engineering procedures, integration of tools in the SLS engineering process, ...)
  • In-depth experimental studies of SLS algorithms (behavior of SLS algorithms, comparison of SLS algorithms, ...), problem characteristics (search space analysis, ...) and their impact on algorithm performance.
  • Tools for the assistance in the development process of SLS algorithms (software libraries, automatic and semi-automatic tuning procedures, learning techniques, ...).
  • Case studies in the principled development of well designed SLS algorithms for practically relevant problems.
  • Aspects that become relevant when moving from "classical" NP-hard problems to those including multiple objectives, stochastic information or dynamically changing data.
  • New algorithmic developments (usage of AI/OR techniques, large scale neighbourhood searches, new SLS methods, data structures, distributed algorithms, ...)
  • Theoretical analysis of SLS behaviour and their impact on algorithm design (analysis of operators, dynamic behaviour of SLS algorithms, ...)

Publication Details

The workshop proceedings will be published in Springer's Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) series. Submitted papers must be max. 15 pages.

Best Paper Award

A best paper award will be presented at the workshop.

Further Information

Up-to-date information will be published on the web site For information about local arrangements, registration forms, etc., please refer to the above-mentioned web site or contact the local organizers at the address below.

Authors of papers accepted for the main workshop will be asked to review and comment on one extended abstract that is submitted to the Doctoral Symposium on Engineering Stochastic Local Search Algorithms (SLS-DS), which is integrated into the main SLS workshop.

Workshop Address

IRIDIA CP 194/6 Tel +32-2-6502729
Université Libre de Bruxelles Fax +32-2-6502715
Av. F. D. Roosevelt 50
1050 Bruxelles, Belgium email:

Workshop Location

Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.

Important Dates

Submission deadline (extended) 15 April 2009
Notification of acceptance 22 May 2009
Camera ready copy 5 June 2009
Workshop 3-5 September 2009

SLS 2009 Workshop Chairs

Thomas Stützle, IRIDIA, ULB, Brussels, Belgium
Mauro Birattari, IRIDIA, ULB, Brussels, Belgium
Holger H. Hoos, CS Department, UBC, Vancouver, Canada