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About HeuristicLab

HeuristicLab is a software environment for heuristic and evolutionary algorithms, developed and successively applied by members of the Heuristic and Evolutionary Algorithms Laboratory since 2002.

Among other aspects, a sophisticated graphical user interface distinguishes HeuristicLab from existing heuristic optimization frameworks, which usually require comprehensive programming skills to adjust and extend the algorithms for a particular problem. In HeuristicLab algorithms are represented as operator graphs and changing or rearranging operators can be done by drag-and-drop without actually writing code. The software thereby shifts algorithm development capability from the software engineer to the user and practitioner. It is of course still possible to extend the functionality on code level and algorithm developers benefit from HeuristicLab's light-weight plug-in mechanism that allows integrating custom algorithms, solution representations or optimization problems with ease. This concept leads to a significant level of code reuse across metaheuristic variants and encourages users to successively gain more knowledge about algorithm development.

Attached to this page you can also find a flyer in which the facts and features of HeuristicLab are briefly described.


Innovation award banner In May 2009 we submitted HeuristicLab for the Microsoft Innovation Award 2009. Both an expert jury and a public audience perceived HeuristicLab as one of the three most innovative software projects from 64 submissions. We are of course very happy about such a recognition and the award itself, which was presented by Austria's Federal Minister for Science and Research Dr. Johannes Hahn.

Michael Affenzeller talks about the HeuristicLab project (german):


HeuristicLab is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

HeuristicLab is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

See the GNU General Public License for more details (

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