The generalised assignment problem (GAP) is the problem of finding a minimum cost assignment of a set of jobs to a set of agents. Each job is assigned to exactly one agent. The total demands of all jobs assigned to any agent can not exceed the total resources available to that agent. A review of exact and heuristic methods is presented. A lambda-generation mechanism is introduced. Different search strategies and parameter settings are investigated for the lambda-generation descent, hybrid simulated annealing/tabu search and tabu search heuristic methods. The developed methods incorporate a number of features that have proven useful for obtaining optimal and near optimal solutions. The effectiveness of our approaches is established by comparing their performance in terms of solution quality and computional requirement to other specialized branch-and-bound tree search, simulated annealing and set partitioning heuristics on a set of standard problems from the literature
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