If you’re a computer science aficionado, you may be familiar with the travelling salesman problem: given a list of different cities and the distances between them, how can a salesman visit each city once using the shortest possible route and then end up back where he started. This is possibly the most popular example of a complex optimization problem there is. As you add more locations, the problem gets more and more difficult so that for a large number of cities it is impossible to find the single optimal solution in a reasonable amount of time.

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