A network with traffic between nodes is known. The links of the network can be designed either as two-way links or as one-way links in either direction. The problem is to find the best configuration of the network which minimizes total travel time for all users. Branch and bound optimal algorithms are practical only for small networks (up to 15 nodes). Effective simulated annealing and genetic algorithms are proposed for the solution of larger problems. Both the simulated annealing and the genetic algorithms propose innovative approaches. These innovative ideas can be used in the implementation of these heuristic algorithms for other problems as well. Additional tabu search iterations are applied on the best results obtained by these two procedures. The special genetic algorithm was found to be the best for solving a set of test problems. (C) 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.