An Improved Algorithm for Optimal Coalition Structure Generation
The Coalition Structure Generation (CSG) problem is a partitioning of a set of agents into exhaustive and disjoint coalitions to maximize social welfare. This NP-complete problem arises in many practical scenarios. Prominent examples are included in the field of transportation, e-Commerce, distributed sensor networks, and others. The fastest exact algorithm to solve the CSG problem is ODP-IP, which is a hybrid version of two previously established algorithms, namely Improved Dynamic Programming (IDP) and IP. In this paper, we show that the ODP-IP algorithm performs many redundant operations. To improve ODP-IP, we propose a faster abortion mechanism to speed up IP’s search. Our abortion mechanism decides at runtime which of the IP's operations are redundant to skip them. Then, we propose a modified version of IDP (named MIDP) and an improved version of IP (named IIP). Based on these two improved algorithms, we develop a hybrid version (MIDP-IIP) to solve the CSG problem. After a detailed description of the new algorithm MIDP-IIP, an experimental comparison is conducted against ODP-IP. Our analysis shows that MIDP-IIP performs fewer operations than ODP-IP. In addition, MIDP-IIP reduced significantly many problem instances running times (11% to 37 %), and improved drastically some of them.