travelling salesman problem
<algorithm, complexity> (TSP or "shortest path", US: "traveling") Given a
set of towns and the distances between them, determine the shortest path
starting from a given town, passing through all the other towns and returning to
the first town.
This is a famous problem with a variety of solutions of varying complexity and
efficiency. The simplest solution (the brute force approach) generates all
possible routes and takes the shortest. This becomes impractical as the number
of towns, N, increases since the number of possible routes is !(N1). A more
intelligent algorithm (similar to iterative deepening) considers the shortest
path to each town which can be reached in one hop, then two hops, and so on
until all towns have been visited. At each stage the algorithm maintains a
"frontier" of reachable towns along with the shortest route to each. It then
expands this frontier by one hop each time.
Pablo Moscato's TSP bibliography.
Fractals and the TSP.
(19980324)
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