Two Heuristics for the Euclidean Steiner Tree Problem

Derek R. Dreyer, Michael L. Overton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Euclidean Steiner tree problem is to find the tree with minimal Euclidean length spanning a set of fixed points in the plane, allowing the addition of auxiliary points to the set (Steiner points). The problem is NP-hard, so polynomial-time heuristics are desired. We present two such heuristics, both of which utilize an efficient method for computing a locally optimal tree with a given topology. The first systematically inserts Steiner points between edges of the minimal spanning tree meeting at angles less than 120 degrees, performing a local optimization at the end. The second begins by finding the Steiner tree for three of the fixed points. Then, at each iteration, it introduces a new fixed point to the tree, connecting it to each possible edge by inserting a Steiner point, and minimizes over all connections, performing a local optimization for each. We present a variety of test cases that demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of both algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-106
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Global Optimization
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Euclidean Steiner tree
  • Interior-point algorithm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Control and Optimization
  • Applied Mathematics


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