Times cited: 22

Bofill, P, Guimera, R, Torras, C.
Neural Netw. 16 , 1421 -1428 (2003).

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This paper describes an experimental comparison between a discrete stochastic optimization procedure (Simulated Annealing, SA) and a continuous deterministic one (Mean Field Annealing), as applied to the generation of Balanced Incomplete Block Designs (BIBDs). A neural cost function for BIBD generation is proposed with connections of arity four, and its continuous counterpart is derived, as required by the mean field formulation. Both strategies are optimized with regard to the critical temperature, and the expected cost to the first solution is used as a performance measure for the comparison. The results show that SA performs slightly better, but the most important observation is that the pattern of difficulty across the 25 problem instances tried is very similar for both strategies, implying that the main factor to success is the energy landscape, rather than the exploration procedure used. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.