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Friday, August 25, 2017

Find the Best Way to Deliver These

Its an old problem.   It was one of the first problem types I worked on at the enterprise.   It has been declared solved a number of times, but some other little complexities are always being added,  just to make it difficult once again.  Its often a part of the larger supply chain problem, and often the most difficult part, especially with regard to customer service.  Good overview piece on the challenges today.   In Technology Review:

Inside the Increasingly Complex Algorithms That Get Packages to Your Door
Working out the best way to deliver parcels is a near-impossible job, and it’s only getting harder.  by Jamie Condliffe  

If you had to hand-deliver 50 packages, how would you go about planning the best route?

That’s a theoretical problem mathematicians and computer scientists have long tussled with, and you might even be familiar with the traveling-salesman problem yourself. Simply put, it asks: given a list of locations and the distances between them all, what is the shortest possible route that visits each location once and returns to the origin? Clearly, solving that problem is an attractive proposition for any e-commerce business that delivers goods, because it means lower fuel costs and fewer drivers. ... " 

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