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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

A statistical technique for comparing heuristics: an example from capacity assignment strategies in computer network design


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An analysis of variance (ANOVA) model is developed for determining the existence of significant differences among strategies employing heuristics. Use of the model is illustrated in an application involving capacity assignment for networks utilizing the dynamic hierarchy architecture, in which the apex node is reassigned in response to changing environments. The importance of the model lies in the structure provided to the evaluation of heuristics, a major need in the assessment of benefits of artificial-intelligence applications. A nested three-factor design with fixed and random effects provides a numerical example of the model.

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