This paper is concerned with taking an engineering approach towards the application of metaheuristic problem solving methods, i.e. heuristics that aim to solve a wide variety of problems. How can a practitioner solve a problem using metaheuristic methods? What choices do they have, and how are these choices influenced by the problem at hand? Are there sensible universal choices which can be made, or are these choices always problem-dependent? The aim of this paper is to address questions such as these in the context of a (soft) engineering design framework for the application of metaheuristics. The aim of this framework is to make explicit the choices which a practitioner needs to make in applying these techniques, and to give some guidelines for how metaheuristics might be tuned to problems by considering different problem- and solution-types
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