In this study, the generalized nonlinear Schrodinger (GNLS) equation is solved numerically by the quintic B-spline collocation finite element method. In the method, Crank-Nicolson scheme is used for the time integration, and the space variable is discretized by means of quintic B-spline functions. Finally, we investigate properties of the numerically computed solutions of the GNLS equation; in particular we study the generation of solitary waves, interaction of solitons and blow up. (C) 2010 The Franklin Institute. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.