Thursday, November 26, 2009


JSH: My optimal path idea, solution to TSP?

A while back I came up with an approach to the Traveling Salesman Problem which was resoundingly panned on this newsgroup, from one poster who proudly and repeatedly claimed it just did not work, to others who challenged the assertion that I'd even really given an approach!

I like that "wisdom of crowds" thing to test assertions versus endless arguing with one or two people, so I'm noting now that the algorithm is probably available to you anywhere in the world by a Google search (has to be Google):

optimal path algorithm

I just did that search and a page on my math blog comes up #2 behind some guy named Dijkstra, whoever he is. I guess he did something with a least times path, while I'm doing something that is supposed to solve the TSP.

Now I've noted my high search rankings before in newsgroups and run into some predictable rationalizations:
  1. Posters claim only I'm getting the particular search, and say Google has stuff on my computer to tell them what I want. Well that one's easily proven or disproven by YOU when you do the search yourself!!!

  2. Posters claim I post a lot of links all over the place to drive up search results for myself. Well, that one is harder to refute though I actually rarely if ever post links to MY research, partly because I've driven up search results for years and puzzle over why myself.
Oh, the other thing of course is, so what?

Well, one or two or even a dozen of you might proudly and loudly proclaim the idea is crap, but for Google search results to be so driven presumably a LOT more people around the world disagree, except then, why isn't this idea part of the status quo?

Turns out that new ideas routinely face an uphill climb so the Google search results I hypothesize could be a leading indicator.

Even the idea for sliced bread took years to catch on. See:

The idea for escalators was from the late 1800's but didn't get widely implemented until the mid-twentieth century.

Lasers were to a large extent an early idea of Einstein's.

So why post here now?

Group effects interest me.

The posters who were loud and proud in decrying the idea join a long line of people who are hostile to new ideas and do so I think for status reasons. It is of interest to see their reaction to this post.

Presumably it will be defensive.

They are fighting for what they believe is their status in the hierarchy of this group. Their responses also reveal what role they think they play in that hierarchy. It is a dominance test.

I am challenging their authority and intimating that they lead "their group" down the wrong path, so they are "bad people" who are also inferior as to their real knowledge and dangerous to people who trust them. That assertion should lead to a response.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?