Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Poems That Solve PuzzlesThe History and Science of Algorithms$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Chris Bleakley

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198853732

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198853732.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 January 2021

Needles in Haystacks

Needles in Haystacks

Chapter:
(p.93) 6 Needles in Haystacks
Source:
Poems That Solve Puzzles
Author(s):

Chris Bleakley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198853732.003.0006

Chapter 6 examines one of the greatest unsolved challenges in mathematics - the problem of finding the best solution from a large number of possibilities. The Traveling Salesman Problem requires that the shortest tour of a group of cities is determined. Surprisingly, the only way to guarantee finding the shortest tour is to measure the length of all possible tours. Exhaustive search such as this is very slow. For centuries, mathematicians have sought to find fast algorithms for solving combinatorial search problems. The most famous was invented by Edsger Dijkstra in 1956. Dijkstra’s algorithm finds the shortest route between cities on a roadmap and is now used in all satellite navigation apps. The Gale-Shapley algorithm solves the problem of matching pairs of items according to user preferences. John Holland took the radical step of accelerating combinatorial search by mimicking natural evolution in a computer.

Keywords:   algorithm, combinatorial optimisation, complexity theory, NP-complete, Travlling Salesman Problem, Dijkstra’s algorithm, Gale-Shapely, John Holland, genetic algorithms

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .