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We identify ejection chain methods for the traveling salesman problem based on a special reference structure for generating constructions related to alternating paths. Computational tests show that the method performs very effectively, obtaining generally better solutions than improved versions of the Lin-Kemighan method within the same time frame. Our approach, which currently has a simple tabu search guidance component at a local level, also has the potential to be combined in more advanceddoi:10.1016/s0166-218x(96)00123-0 fatcat:d6cvogngpvhrtmpazyoy6a3uba