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In optimization, 3-opt is a simple local search algorithm for solving the travelling salesman problem and related network optimization problems.

3-opt analysis involves deleting 3 connections (or edges) in a network (or tour), reconnecting the network in all other possible ways, and then evaluating each reconnection method to find the optimum one. This process is then repeated for a different set of 3 connections.

See also[edit]


  • F. BOCK (1965). An algorithm for solving traveling-salesman and related network optimization problems. unpublished manuscript associated with talk presented at the 14th ORSA National Meeting. 
  • S. LIN (1965). Computer solutions of the traveling salesman problem. Bell Syst. Tech. J. 44, 2245-2269.  Available as PDF
  • S. LIN AND B. W. KERNIGHAN (1973). An Effective Heuristic Algorithm for the Traveling-Salesman Problem. Operations Res. 21, 498-516.  Available as PDF
  • Local Search Heuristics. (n.d.) Retrieved June 16, 2008, from http://www.tmsk.uitm.edu.my/~naimah/csc751/slides/LS.pdf

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