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We report on the use of a morphing procedure in a simulated annealing (SA) heuristic developed for set-covering problems (SCPs). Morphing enables the replacement of columns in solution with similar but more effective columns (morphs). We developed this procedure to solve minimum cardinality set-covering problems (MCSCPs) containing columns which exhibit high degrees of coverage correlation, and weighted set-covering problems (WSCPs) that exhibit high degrees of both cost correlation and coverage correlation. Such correlation structures are contained in a wide variety of real-world problems including many scheduling, design, and location applications. In a large computational study, we found that the morphing procedure does not degrade the performance of an SA heuristic for SCPs with low degrees of cost and coverage correlation (given a reasonable amount of computation time), and that it improves the performance of an SA heuristic for problems with high degrees of such correlations.


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© Springer. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Final version published as: Brusco, M. J., Jacobs, L. W., & Thompson, G. M. (1999). A morphing procedure to supplement a simulated annealing heuristic for cost‐ and coverage‐correlated set‐covering problems. Annals of Operations Research, 86(0), 611-627. doi: 10.1023/A:1018900128545