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problems. It is an NP-hard problem in combinatorial optimization studied in operations research and theoretical computer science. Given a list of cities and their pair wise distances, the task is to find the shortest possible route that visits each city exactly once and returns to the origin city. It is a special case of the travelling purchaser problem. Although the TSP is conceptually simple, it is difficult to obtain an optimal solution. In an m-city situation, any permutation of m cities yields a possible solution. As a consequence, m! possible tours must be evaluated in the search space. Ideas related to the TSP have been around for a long time: In 1736, Leonard Euler studied the problem of finding a round trip through seven bridges in Konigsberg. In 1832, a handbook was published for German travelling salesmen, which included examples of tours. In the 1850s, Sir William Rowan Hamilton studied Hamiltonian circuits in graphs. He also marketed his ‘Icosian Game', based on finding tours in a graph with 20 vertices and 30 edges.

Moving to the 20th century: In the early 1930s, Karl Menger discussed the problem with colleagues in Vienna and Harvard. In the late 1930s, the problem reappeared at Princeton University. Hassler Whitney called it the TSP. In the mid-1940s, the TSP was studied by several statisticians. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, it was studied intensively by researchers at the RAND Corporation.

Definition Given a set of cities and the cost of travel (or distance) between each possible pairs, the TSP, is to find the best possible way of visiting all the cities and returning to the starting point that minimize the travel cost (or travel distance). Complexity Given n is the number of cities to be visited, the total number of possible routes covering all cities can be given as a set of feasible solutions of the TSP and is given as (n-1)!/2.

Slightly modified. paths may not exist in both directions or the distances might be different. In many applications.It has several applications even in its purest formulation. or a similarity measure between DNA fragments. We will try and understand the problem of Travelling Salesman by Assignment problem. for example. aircraft. It is a minimization problem starting and finishing at a specified vertex after having visited each other vertex exactly once. paths are the graph's edges. the distance between two cities is the same in each opposite direction. such that cities are the graph's vertices. soldering points. tourists etc.e. and the manufacture of microchips. adding an arbitrarily long edge will complete the graph without affecting the optimal tour. Even though the problem is computationally difficult. TSP can be modeled as an undirected weighted graph.There are two types of Travelling Salesman Problems : Symmetric TSP: In the symmetric TSP. it appears as a sub-problem in many areas. One may wish to find good routes or schedules for trucks. order-pickers in a warehouse. and a path's distance is the edge's length. one-way streets. In these applications. and the concept distance represents travelling times or cost. forming a directed graph. or DNA fragments. forming an undirected graph. This symmetry halves the number of possible solutions. and airfares for cities with different departure and arrival fees are examples of how this symmetry could break down. so that some instances with tens of thousands of cities can be solved. such as planning. the concept city represents. Asymmetric TSP: In the asymmetric TSP. If no path exists between two cities. customers. Traffic collisions. Often. It is used as a benchmark for many optimization methods. Application of TSP: The main application of the TSP is to logistics. each pair of vertices is connected by an edge).[1] a large number of heuristics and exact methods are known. service engineers. . logistics. the model is a complete graph (i. additional constraints such as limited resources or time windows make the problem considerably harder. such as DNA sequencing.

Mr. On calculating. He wants to visit 6 cities. Iyer wants to develop a tour through the 5 other cities and return to his home city in such a way that he has to travel the minimum distance. And the optimal solution should not increase this. we will take this as an upper bound limit to solve the problem.Mr. this distance comes out to be 126km (=25+28+14+12+8+39). It may be noted that the matix of the distances between different cities is not a symmetrical one. Iyer travels to the cities in the numerical orders listed and makes his tours as 1-2-3-4-5-6-1.4. If we consider this solution to be the feasible solution. The distances between the various cities are given in table 1. To solve the problem of Mr. Starting with city 1 where he is stationed. we have used Branch and Bound procedure along with Assignment Problem of the minimization type. To begin with. Mr. Iyer is a saleman with Delite Manufacturing Company.5 and 6. . say 1.2.3. Iyer. For instance the distance from city 1 to 2 is not given to be the same as the distance from city 2 to 1.

Step 1: We will solve this problem with Assignment Problem method. in Row 1. E. First of all. . we will deduct it from each value in the row. And so on for all the rows. Here.g.Let’s solve this problem step by step. We will deduct the minimum distance from each value for all the 6 rows respectively. the minimum distance is 18. we need to find a lower bound limit on this solution value.

15km Total length: 80 km This 80 km will be assigned as a lower limit for the solution. 5-6-5 Length: 65 km. And resort to branching in such a way that by breaking and joining the sub tour. we can form a complete tour. We have to tak up the shortest of the sub tours.5-6. This will be done with the help of formulating and solving a series of Assignment Problems which will be aimed at reducing the upper bound and increasing the lower bound.4-2. The table will look as follows: As we can see here. Next we will try and reduce the difference between the upper bound and the lower bound limits.Step 2: We will assign each city with ‘the city with a 0’ if there is only one 0 in the row. . 2-1. each city has been assign with city with a 0. Hence. Thus. which 5-6-5. Step 3: Now we will resort to Branching and Bound method.6-5 Sub tours: 1-3-4-2-1. the assignment will be as follows: Assignments: 1-3. it will reduce the gap between the two. And we will end when no more gap reduction is possible.3-4.

We will take up the optimal solution that we obtained earlier and put up M in the 5-6 routes. there are two branches possible: 5-6 and 6-5. .As we can see above. Step 4: Now we will take up the first sub route as 5-6.

Now we will solve this as an assignment problem.6-5 Sub tours: 1-3-1 and 2-6-5-4-2 Length: 40km and 44km Total Length: 84km Step 5: We will take up the optimal solution that we obtained earlier and put up M in the 6-5 route.4-2. Now we got the assignments as follows: Assignment: 1-3. Now we will again solve this as an assignment problem.5-4.3-1. . 2-6.

.

5-6. .6-4 Tours: 1-3-5-6-4-2-1 Total Length: 87km Now.2-1.Now we got the assignments as follows: Assignment: 1-3.3-5.4-2. the revised upper bound becomes 87km and revised lower bound 84km.

Now we will solve this as an assignment problem. We will break the sub tour 1-3-1 into two further routes: 1-3 and 3-1. We will take up the revised optimal solution that we obtained earlier and put up M in the 1-3 routes. .Step 6: For the lower bound. now we will make 2 further branches.

6-5 Tour : 1-2-6-5-4-3-1 Total Length: 93km Step 7: We will take up the revised optimal solution that we obtained earlier and put up M in the 3-1 routes.3-1.Now we got the assignments as follows: Assignment: 1-2. . 2-6. Now we will solve this as an assignment problem.4-3.5-4.

2-1.4-2.3-6.6-5 Tour : 1-3-6-5-4-2-1 .Now we got the assignments as follows: Assignment: 1-3.5-4.

Hence. . As the results obtained (90 and 93km) do not lie between the revised upper(87km) and lower bound(84km). And will make the sales man travel more than the upper bound. it can be concluded that the revised upper bound cannot be reduced any further as there is no sub tour available.Total Length: 90km Step 8: Now there is a problem with the movement along this node. The optimal solution to the problem is the tour in the order 1-3-5-6-4-2-1.

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