Sunday, March 12, 2023

[DMANET] ML4VRP Competition at GECCO'2023 - Call for Participation

Call for Participation
Machine Learning for Evolutionary Computation - for Vehicle Routing Problems (ML4VRP)
GECCO 2023 | 15-19 July - Lisbon, Portugal
Competition Website:


This competition aims to serve as a vehicle to bring together the latest developments of machine learning-assisted evolutionary computation for vehicle routing problems (VRPs). Results of current relevant research contain a lot of rich knowledge in evolutionary computation, which is however often discarded or not further investigated. These include different features of the problem/solutions to inform or drive the evolution/optimisation, different settings/operators/heuristics in effective evolutionary algorithms, and findings/evaluations of the search/fitness space. These can all be collected and processed as data, serving an excellent new problem domain for the machine learning community to enhance evolutionary computation.

VRP variants of different difficulties provide an ideal testbed to enable performance comparison of machine learning-assisted computational optimisation. Fostering, reusing, and interpreting the rich knowledge building ML4VRP remains a challenge for researchers across disciplines, however, is highly rewarding to further advance human-designed evolutionary computation.

Submission Instructions

Participants in the ML4VRP Competition should submit the following by 16 June 2023 to

1. A short description of 1) the machine learning (e.g. supervised or unsupervised learning, reinforcement learning, deep learning, etc.) which design, assist or enhance evolutionary algorithms for solving either of the VRP variants.
This competition does not require the source code of the machine learning-assisted algorithm.
2. The solutions in the specified format, and the corresponding VRP/VRPTW instances, to be verified by an API provided at the competition website.

Participants could also submit a two-page abstract by 14 April 2023, to be included in the GECCO proceedings if accepted. Please refer to the Information for authors of "2-page Competition Abstracts" at

Participants are also invited to submit a full paper to a special issue on ML4VRP in a journal. Details will be made available at the competition website as soon as the dates are agreed. We also encourage participants to attend GECCO 2023.

Problem Data and API Evaluator

* Dataset of the VRP instances on the GitHub page for testing the algorithms (available soon)
* API evaluator with instructions to evaluate the solutions (available soon)

Important Dates

* Two page abstract submission: 14 April 2023
* Description and solution submission: 16 June 2023
* GECCO 2023 Conference: 15-19 July 2023


* Rong Qu, University of Nottingham, UK,<>
* Nelishia Pillay, University of Pretoria, South Africa,<>
* Weiyao Meng, University of Nottingham, UK,<>

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