A Genetic Algorithm Approach for the Euclidean Steiner Tree Problem with Soft Obstacles

Manou Rosenberg, Tim French, Mark Reynolds, Lyndon While

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we address the Euclidean Steiner tree problem in the plane in the presence of soft and solid polygonal obstacles. The Euclidean Steiner tree problem is a well-known NP-hard problem with different applications in network design. Given a set of terminal nodes in the plane the aim is to find a shortest-length interconnection of the terminals allowing further nodes, so-called Steiner points, to be added. In many real-life scenarios there are further constraints that need to be considered. Regions in the plane that cannot be traversed or can only be traversed at a higher cost can be approximated by polygonal areas that either need to be avoided (solid obstacles) or come with a higher cost of traversing (soft obstacles). We propose a genetic algorithm that uses problem-specific representation and operators to solve this problem and show that the algorithm can solve various test scenarios of different sizes. The presented approach appears to outperform current heuristic approaches for the Steiner tree problem with soft obstacles and was evaluated on larger test instances as well.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGECCO '21
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference
EditorsFrancisco Chicano, Krzysztof Krawiec
Place of PublicationUSA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450383509
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-8350-9
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2021
EventThe Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference 2021 - , Virtual
Duration: 10 Jul 202114 Jul 2021


ConferenceThe Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleGECCO 2021


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