When devising heuristics for the TSP I often see edge exchange algorithms suggested. But I also find them a bit hard to understand and somewhat cumbersome to implement.
When I think about a TSP, I imagine a permutation of the nodes of the problem, and hence I always default to swapping nodes in the permutation.
Is there any literature on the relative performance of edge exchange heuristics and node swap heuristics?
Also, is a node swap heuristic a special case of an edge exchange?