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## Monday, April 11, 2022

### ABC Algorithm Example

Most interesting, will take a further look.   Much more detail and images at the link.

How to Apply Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm to Solve Unconventional Problems

Solve a puzzle for fun. Learn a new Algorithm. Win-win. Full code.

Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) Algorithm, covered in my last article, is quite flexible but is it flexible enough to solve an unconventional problem; a logic puzzle? The answer turns out to be “why not?”. So, we’ll go into detail about how to model and solve it. Going through this process might perhaps help you to look at other problems and make better-informed business decisions.

The unconventional problem for this article is the Match stick puzzle, inspired by the Mensa calendar. The objective is to burn the match sticks to get the specified number of burned segments in each column and row.

We will solve this using the ABC Algorithm.

Explored Solutions during the solution process. Image by the Author.

Why a match stick

At AAXIS Digital, my colleagues and I routinely encounter and solve complex business problems that need out-of-the-box thinking. As well, I am part of a vibrant and active community of engineers and puzzle lovers called the Rowdy Riddlers. So, for business and pleasure, you can say logic problems are my jam.

I encountered this puzzle at the Rowdy Riddlers group. If you think it should be solved manually; I agree. We did and it was fun. But solving it computationally, in my opinion, is a fun and worthwhile exercise.

A wise man once said, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” While there is wisdom in that old adage, I believe ABC Algorithm is more like a swiss army knife that you can use to solve different types of problems. The more we look at different examples of its application, the better we will get at recognizing patterns in our everyday optimization problems which will enable us to make better-informed business decisions.

Burn baby burn

Now that I hopefully have you convinced this is a worthwhile task, let’s take a look at the puzzle in a little more detail. To recap, the objective is to “burn” the match sticks to get the specified total number of burned segments in each column and row. Let’s take a gander.  .... '