## Tuesday, March 7, 2017

### Boundaries for loops

As in the case of 2-opt we set the boundaries of the for loops. Suppose we have i==0, then what boundaries should we set up for j and k? In 3-opt we do not exclude pairs of subsequent positions, so j can be equal i+1 or k equal j+1. In these cases we get single 2-opt move, which is a specific case of 3-opt move. For example (i, j, k) == (0, 1, 2) describes 2-opt move performed by reversing segment tour .. tour.

Having set up the loops for j and k for a i==0 case, we can simply “rotate” the whole triplet (i, j, k) on the tour. This means: change i to some value and at the same time add this new value of i to j and k.

for counter_1 in 0 .. N-1:
i = counter_1 # first cut after i
...
for counter_2 in 1 .. N-3:
j = (i + counter_2) mod N # second cut after j
...
for counter_3 in counter_2+1 .. N-1:
k = (i + counter_3) mod N  # third cut after k
...


### Preliminary version of 3-optimization code

The only remaining diference between 2- and 3-opt iterative algorithm is the need to deal with different cases of 3-opt, so one more loop is needed.

proc LS_3_Opt_General_Idea(tour: var Tour_Array) =
## Optimizes the given tour using 3-opt.
# Using tour array as representation of tour shortens the tour
# by repeating 3-opt moves until no improvement can by done:
# in every iteration looks for and applies the first move that
# gives positive length gain.
var
locallyOptimal: bool = false
i, j, k: Tour_Index
X1, X2, Y1, Y2, Z1, Z2: City_Number
optCase: Reconnection_3_optCase
gainExpected: Length_Gain

while not locallyOptimal:
locallyOptimal = true

block four_loops:
for counter_1 in 0 .. N-1:
i = counter_1 # first cut after i
X1 = tour[i]
X2 = tour[(i+1) mod N]
for counter_2 in 1 .. N-3:
j = (i + counter_2) mod N # second cut after j
Y1 = tour[j]
Y2 = tour[(j+1) mod N]
for counter_3 in counter_2+1 .. N-1:
k = (i + counter_3) mod N  # third cut after k
Z1 = tour[k]
Z2 = tour[(k+1) mod N]

for optCase in opt3_case_1 .. opt3_case_7:
gainExpected = Gain_From_3_Opt(X1, X2,
Y1, Y2,
Z1, Z2,
optCase)
if gainExpected > 0:
Make_3_Opt_Move(tour, i, j, k, optCase)
locallyOptimal = false
break four_loops


### Redundant checks

We should not forget that a tour is cyclic and the problem is symmetric. Instead of conditional statement and making a move let's remove these lines for a while and replace them with printing loop counters, corresponding positions and gain. Among lines of output we would see for example:

c1 c2 c3   i  j  k  case gain
11 21 36   11 32 47   -809
11 21 36   11 32 47  -1034
11 21 36   11 32 47  -1029
11 21 36   11 32 47  -1028

32 15 79   32 47 11  -1029
32 15 79   32 47 11   -809
32 15 79   32 47 11  -1034
32 15 79   32 47 11  -1028

47 64 85   47 11 32  -1034
47 64 85   47 11 32  -1029
47 64 85   47 11 32   -809
47 64 85   47 11 32  -1028


This is not a concidence. The output show us that there is no need to check cases 4 i 5. We make full cycle through the tour to examine possible 3-opt moves, so when considering permutations of given (i, j, k) triplet cases 4 and 5 are just rotated versions of case 6 (see: 3-opt move). Examining cases 4 and 5 takes additional time, but gives the same result.

The same happens for cases 1-3 of 3-opt, equal to single 2-moves:

c1 c2 c3   i  j  k  case gain
11 21 36   11 32 47  -1070
11 21 36   11 32 47   -244
11 21 36   11 32 47   -530

32 15 79   32 47 11   -244
32 15 79   32 47 11   -530
32 15 79   32 47 11  -1070

47 64 85   47 11 32   -530
47 64 85   47 11 32  -1070
47 64 85   47 11 32   -244


So we should change the line:

   for optCase in opt3_case_1 .. opt3_case_7:

to:
   for optCase in [opt3_case_3, opt3_case_6, opt3_case_7]:


to increase efficiency.

### 3-opt move reduced to a single 2-opt move

We have reduced number of cases of 3-opt move from 7 to 3. There is a question: what about case 3, equal to a single 2-opt move? What can we do with this case to simplify the code and what are the consequences?

From:

we have

This proves that case 3 move is equivalent to the two subsequent moves: of case 6 and of case 7.

Note that this does not mean that we can ommit case 3 without affecting the performace, but it does mean that we would not overlook a good (improving) move, even if the algorithm in this case is not very efficient (reversing segments a and c back and forth).

So we can skip the explicit checking of case 3 and change the line:

   for optCase in [opt3_case_3, opt3_case_6, opt3_case_7]:

to:
   for optCase in [opt3_case_6, opt3_case_7]:


1. Why case3 is not needed ? What if case6 or case7 (alone) will not improve tour leading to 2 subsequent moves 6 and 7 ?

PS. Great blog :)

2. 1) if case3 improves the tour
and
2) case3 is is equivalent to the two subsequent moves: of case6 and of case7
then:
gain(case3) = gain(case6) + gain(case(7) > 0
so:
3) either case6 is improving or case7 is improving, or both are improving.

3. 4. Let's say that tour is like on picture showing case 3 (ab'c). If we apply move variant 6 we will get a'b'c' and gain will be negative so move will not be done. If we apply move variant 7 we will get a'b'c', gain can also be negative so move will not be done. If we apply move variant 3 gain will be positive. What I'm missing here ?

5. Note that
case3(abc) = case7(case6(abc))
_and_
case3(abc) = case6(case7(abc))
When gain from case3(abc) is positive, then either gain from case6(abc) is positive, or gain from case7(abc) is positive, or both are positive.

If you prefer it this way: lets number cities we use from 1 to 6. And lets use concise notation of '12' for length of link between city 1 and city 2, i.e. 'distance(city_1,city_2)'. Then gain(case3) is equal (12+34)-(13+24). A scheme could be useful.

So then:
gain(case3(abc)) > 0 if 13+24 < 12+34

Now, suppose that gain(case6) is negative; it means:
gain(case6(abc)) < 0 if 12+24+56 < 14+26+35
When we summ the two inequalities up, we get:
13+24+56 < 14+26+35
But then it means that:
gain(case7(abc)) = (14+26+35) - (13+24+56) > 0.
So despite of fact that gain from case6(abc) is negative an improving case3(abc) move would be found because then case7(abc) has posivite gain.

Similarly for the other case: when gain3>0 and gain7<0.

6. My understanding is as follows:

Let's say that initial tour is: 1->2->3->4->5->6 (full circle) and that case3 improves the tour so tour 1->3->2->4->5->6 is shorter. It means that:

gain(case3) = 12+34+56 - (13+24+56) > 0, we delete links 12, 34, 56 and creates 13,24, 56. Equation is: deleted links - added links

Suppose that case6 is not improving tour so gain is negative:

gain(case6) = 12+34+56 - (14+26+35) < 0.

When we summ, we get:

13+24+56 < 14+26+35, we can write this as:
13+24+56 - (12+34+56) < 14+26+35 - (12+34+56) #multiply by -1
12+34+56 -(13+24+56) > 12+34+56 -(14+26+35)
gain(case3) > gain(case6)

gain(case7) = 12+34+56 - (14+36+25)

I don't see how your formula (14+26+35) - (13+24+56) describes gain(case7) ?

1. You are right, there is a fatal oversight here and the proof is wrong.

7. One more question. Which opt3 case for (i, j, k) = (0, 1, 2) reverse tour ?

1. I am sorry, but I do not understand the root of your question. Reversed tour is the same tour, because we consider symmetric TSP.

8. You wrote:

For example (i, j, k) == (0, 1, 2) describes 2-opt move performed by reversing segment tour .. tour.

I don't understand this sentence.

9. Reversing a _segment_ (namely: segment containing cities from city on posisition 1 to city position 2), not 'reversing tour'.