Wild About Math! Making Math fun and accessible

7Feb/121

Plotting “traveling salesman problem” routes on an iPhone

Here's something quite remarkable, from the Princeton University Press Blog:

Twenty-four years ago a 2,392-city example of the TSP was solved in a 23-hour run on a super computer to set a new world record. This same problem now solves in 7 minutes on an iPhone 4 thanks to a free app: Concorde TSP Solver!

iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/concorde-tsp/id498366515
Press release for Concorde TSP Solver: http://press.princeton.edu/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Cook-TSP-app.pdf

Bill Cook, author of In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman, has just launched a FREE app in the iTunes store called CONCORDE TSP SOLVER. The app allows users to plot TSP routes for an uploaded list of cities or any number of random cities.

The CONCORDE TSP SOLVER app is a powerful display of the potential to solve on mobile devices large examples of even the most difficult computational problems. This makes it an ideal tool for understanding and teaching the mathematics behind the most successful line-of-attack on the salesman problem. The colorful graphics show step-by-step how a tool called linear programming zeros in on the optimal route to visit a displayed collection of cities.

CONCORDE TSP SOLVER is a great companion to Cook’s book In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman for general readers and mathematics students alike.

I've received a review copy of the book from Princeton University Press but have not had a chance to read it yet. A couple of reviews are available at Amazon.com.

A table of contents and chapter one of the book are available at the publisher's website.