The 8th International Conference on
Variable Neighborhood Search

March 22-24, 2021, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.


About the conference

The 8th International Conference on Variable Neighborhood Search (initially called ICVNS2020) will be was co-organized by the EURO Working Group on Metaheuristics (EWG EU/ME). The main goal of the 8th ICVNS conference is to provide a stimulating environment in which researchers coming from various scientific fields can share and discuss their knowledge, expertise and ideas related to the VNS Metaheuristic and its applications. The aim of the 8th International Conference on VNS is to allow specialists and practitioners on Variable Neighborhood Search to effectively screen papers and participate in lively debates.

Call For Papers (download)

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Khalifa University,
Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.


Contact us



Selected papers that were presented in 8th ICVNS are published by Springer in the Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) series.

The published LNCS volume (LNCS12559) can be found here

Special issues

These confirmed special issues will be dedicated to significantly extended and improved versions of the papers presented at the 8th ICVNS conference. All papers will be, peer reviewed, according to the journal standards.

Conference Schedule

The timings below correspond to Abu Dhabi time (UTC+4)

Nenad Mladenovic

Pre-ICVNS2021 Tutorial: Prof. Nenad Mladenović

Introduction to VNS metaheuristics

Chair: Andrei Sleptchenko, Khalifa University

KU logo

Opening & Welcome Note

by Prof. Bayan Sharif, Khalifa University Provost

Chair: Prof. Mohammed Omar, Khalifa University

Parallel Sessions

Session 1 (see abstracts)
Chair: Prof. Eduardo G. Pardo, Spain
  • Nicolás Rodríguez, Basic Variable Neighborhood Search for the Multi-Row facility layout problem considering facilities of equal length (paper 010)
  • Abdessamad Ouzidan, BVNS approach for the Order Processing in Parallel Picking Workstations (paper 025)
  • Sergio Gil Borrás, Determining the time window for the Online Order Batching Problem and its combination with Variable Neighborhood Search (paper 005)
Session 2 (see abstracts)
Chair: Prof. Jun Pei, China
  • Dušan Džamić, Why Exponential Quality function cannot recognize bad communities in complex networks as modularity (paper 031)
  • Marko Mladenovic, Hydro-chain scheduling with alternating VND
Panos Pardalos

Keynote Presentation: Prof. Panos Pardalos

On VNS for Hard Optimization Problems and the Power of Heuristics

Chair: Prof. Nenad Mladenovic, Khalifa University

Parallel Sessions

Session 3 (see abstracts)
Chair: Prof. Angelo Sifaleras, Greece
  • Angelo Sifaleras, Scheduling in parallel machines with two servers: the restrictive case (paper 017)
  • Pablo Sartor, Max-Diversity Orthogonal Regrouping of MBA Students using a GRASP/VND Heuristic (paper 023)
Session 4 (see abstracts)
Chair: Prof. Marcone Souza, Brazil
  • Thiago Alves de Queiroz, A Variable Neighborhood Heuristic for Facility Locations in Fog Computing (paper 014)
  • Thiago Stehling, Variable Neighborhood Descent Branching applied to the Green Electric Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Window and Mixed Fleet (paper 019)
  • Paul Bass, Sequential and Parallel Scattered Variable Neighborhood Search for Solving Nurikabe (paper 022)

Parallel Sessions

Session 5 (see abstracts)
Chair: Prof. Yuri Kochetov, Russia
  • Alexey Ratushny, A hybrid local search for the trailers waiting time minimization in warehouse logistic (paper 002)
  • Igor Kulachenko, A Variable Neighborhood Search Based Matheuristic for the Drilling Rig Routing Problem (paper 004)
  • Damir Gainanov, Simplicial vertex heuristic in solving the Railway arrival and departure paths assignment problem (paper 020)
Session 6 (see abstracts)
Chair: Prof. Sergio Consoli, Italy
  • Sergio Cavero, A VNS approach for a variant of the Antibandwidth problem (paper 003)
  • Sergio Consoli, Reduced Variable Neighbourhood Search for the generation of controlled circular data (paper 012)
  • Dragan Urosevic, Less is more approach for solving the p-center problem
Yuri Kochetov

Keynote Presentation: Prof. Yuri Kochetov

The VNS approach for bilevel discrete optimization

Chair: Prof. Abraham Duarte, Spain

Parallel Sessions

Session 7 (see abstracts)
Chair: Prof. Jesus Sanchez-Oro, Spain
  • Ivan Davydov, Constructive heuristics for automatic warehouse scheduling (paper 013)
  • Pablo Romero, A GRASP/VND Heuristic for the Heterogeneous Fleet Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows (paper 021)
  • Nathalie Sanghikian, A Hybrid VNS for the Multi-Product Maritime Inventory Routing Problem (paper 028)
  • Daniel Aloise, Less is more: basic variable neighborhood search for a fair scheduling problem (paper 030)
Session 8 (see abstracts)
Chair: Prof. Tatiana Levanova, Russia
  • Tatiana Levanova, Variable Neighborhood Search Algorithm for Radio Communication System Planning Problem with Reliability (paper 011)
  • Thiago Alves de Queiroz, Scheduling of Patients in Emergency Departments with a Variable Neighborhood Search (paper 015)
  • Sebastián Laborde, A GRASP/VND Heuristic for the Generalized Steiner Problem with Node-Connectivity Constraints and Hostile Reliability (paper 016)
  • Tatjana Davidović, Variable Neighborhood Search for Group Steiner Tree Problem
Bassem Jarboui

Keynote Presentation: Prof. Bassem Jarboui

VNS: from optimization to machine learning

Chair: Prof. Yuri Kochetov, Russia

Parallel Sessions

Session 9 (see abstracts)
Chair: Rachid Benmansour, Morocco
  • Raúl Martín-Santamaría, A Variable Neighborhood Search approach for the Maximum Quasi-clique Problem (paper 008)
  • Iskander Akhmetov, Using K-means and Variable Neighborhood Search for Automatic Summarization of Scientific Articles (paper 026)
  • Marko Đogatović, Transmit beampattern design for target tracking using variable neighbourhood search algorithm
  • Nenad Mladenović, Less Is More Approach in Optimization - A Road to Artificial Intelligence

Session 10 (see abstracts)
Chair: Daniel Aloise, Canada
  • Sergio Pérez-Peló, Variable Neighborhood Search for a Multi-Objective Community Detection Problem (paper 006)
  • Isaac Lozano-Osorio, Measuring the influence of users in social networks using Variable Neighborhood Search (paper 007)
  • Iván M. de San Lázaro, Which are the most critical nodes in a network? A Basic Variable Neighborhood Search approach (paper 009)
  • Sameh Al-Shihabia, A Variable Neighbourhood Search for the Dynamic Repatriation Scheduling Problem
ICVNS2020 logo

Closing Notes

by Nenad Mladenović and Andrei Sleptchenko

Plenary Speakers

Prof. Panos Pardalos

Prof. Panos Pardalos

University of Florida, USA

Prof. Yury Kochetov

Prof. Yury Kochetov

Sobolev Institute of Mathematics, Russia

Prof. Bassem Jarboui

Prof. Bassem Jarboui

Higher Colleges of Technology, U.A.E.

Conference Venue

Abu Dhabi

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions the conference will be held online.

Travel info

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions the conference will be held online.
However, everyone is welcome to visit Abu Dhabi when the restrictions are lifted.

Arriving to Abu Dhabi

There are two large aiports (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) that have direct connections to most of the large cities in the world. The conference venue can be reached by taxi for about $25-$30 (from Abu Dhabi airport) or $90-$100 (from Dubai). The organizers can also arrange shuttle transporation from the airport if multiple participants arrive at the same time.

Hotels in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi has a large number of hotels starting from $50 per night. Organizers will arrange corporate tarifs in the hotels near the conference venue, when the registration date approaches.

Supporting Organizations