FANG: Fast and Efficient Successor-State Generation for Heuristic Optimization on GPUs

Marcel Köster, Julian Groß, Antonio Krüger

In: International Conference on Algorithms and Architectures for Parallel Processing. International Conference on Algorithms and Architectures for Parallel Processing (ICA3PP-2019) 19th December 9-11 Melbourne Australia Springer 2019.


Many optimization problems (especially nonsmooth ones) are typically solved by genetic, evolutionary, or metaheuristic-based algorithms. However, these genetic approaches and other related papers typically assume the existence of a neighborhood or successor-state function N(x), where x is a candidate state. The implementation of such a function can become arbitrarily complex in the field of combinatorial optimization. Many N(x) functions for a huge variety of different domain-specific problems have been developed in the past to solve this general problem. However, it has always been a great challenge to port or realize these functions on a massively-parallel architecture like a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). We present a GPU-based method called FANG that implements a generic and reusable N(x) for arbitrary domains in the field of combinatorial optimization. It can be customized to satisfy domain-specific requirements and leverages the underlying hardware in a fast and efficient way by construction. Moreover, our method has a high scalability with respect to the number of input states and the complexity of a single state. Measurements show significant performance improvements compared to traditional exploration approaches leveraging the CPU on our evaluation scenarios.

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Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence