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I read about the hill climbing algorithms, the simulating annealing algorithm, but I am confused. What is the basic purpose of local search methods?

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Hill climbing, Simulated annealing, genetic algorithms are different variants of local search algorithm. Hill Climbing use to find good solution for NP-hard problems. Simulated annealing was first used extensively to solve VLSI layout problems. It has been applied widely to factory scheduling and other large-scale optimization tasks. Genetic algorithm have had a wide-spread impact on optimization problems, such as circuit layout and job-shop scheduling.

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