Decision Mathematics 2 - The travelling salesman problem

Cards about the travelling salesman

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Key Words

Classical - each vertex is visited only once

Practical - each vertex is visited at least once

Walk - finite sequence of edges where the end of one edge is the start of the next

Tour - A walk that visits every vertex & returns to its starting vertex

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Finding an upper bound

Minimum spanning tree

  • You can find one of these using either Prim's or Kruskal's algorithm
  • When you have found the MST, double the value that you get (this is effectively going up then down every edge)
  • This can become an improved upper bound by finding a shortcut

Nearest Neighbour

  • Choose a starting vertex
  • Move to the nearest unvisited vertex
  • Repeat step 2 until all vertices have been visited
  • Return to the start vertex
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Finding a lower bound

  • Choose a vertex and delete it and all of its connected edges
  • Find a minimum spanning tree for the rest of the network
  • Add the vertex back on to the minimum spanning tree by adding the two shorted arcs from the deleted vertex to the weight of the minimum spanning tree
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Nearest Neighbour Algorithm

  • Choose a starting vertex
  • Move from your present position to the nearest unvisited vertex
  • Repeat step 2 until every vertex has been visited
  • Return to start vertex in the quickest way possible from your current position
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Charlotte Wilding


Great! :)

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