Study level

  • Honours
  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Research centre


Dr Robert Burdett
Senior Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
Associate Professor Paul Corry
Associate Professor in Operations Research
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science


Meta-heuristics are powerful search algorithms for solving intractable optimization problems. There are many population based approaches, like genetic algorithms, evolutionary algorithms, particle swarm, etc. but most of these have a static population size.

Viruses arise and attack populations periodically. They typically appear when populations become abundant. Viruses infect population members, and often reduce the number of individuals. Viruses create spaces for more individuals and balance competition.

The concept of viruses may be mimicked and could be a useful optimization paradigm.

Research activities

Develop a “virus search meta-heuristic algorithm”. Implement the algorithm in C++.  Choose an intractable decision problem like flowshop/jobshop scheduling, travelling salesman, etc, and create test cases/instances. Solve these test cases, compare with evolutionary algorithm, simulated annealing, and report efficacy.


A new meta-heuristic algorithm.

Skills and experience

Operations Research, C++



Contact the supervisor for more information.