Lancaster EPrints

Convex-hull or crossing-avoidance? : solution heuristics in the travelling salesperson problem.

MacGregor, James N. and Chronicle, Edward P. and Ormerod, Thomas C. (2004) Convex-hull or crossing-avoidance? : solution heuristics in the travelling salesperson problem. Memory and Cognition, 32 (2). pp. 260-270. ISSN 0090-502X

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Untrained adults appear to have access to cognitive processes that allow them to perform well in the Euclidean version of the traveling salesperson problem (E-TSP). They do so despite the famous computational intractability of the problem, which stems from its combinatorial complexity. A current hypothesis is that humans' good performance is based on following a strategy of connecting boundary points in order (the convex hull hypothesis). Recently, an alternative has been proposed, that performance is governed by a strategy of avoiding crossings. We examined the crossing avoidance hypothesis from the perspectives of its capacity to explain existing data, its theoretical adequacy, and its ability to explain the results of three new experiments. In Experiment 1, effects on the solution quality of number of points versus number of interior points were compared. In Experiment 2, the distributions of observed paths were compared with those predicted from the two hypotheses. In Experiment 3, figural effects were varied to induce crossings. The results of the experiments were more consistent with the convex hull than with the crossing avoidance hypothesis. Despite its simplicity and intuitive appeal, crossing avoidance does not provide a complete alternative to the convex hull hypothesis. Further elucidation of human strategies and heuristics for optimization problems such as the E-TSP will aid our understanding of how cognitive processes have adapted to the demands of combinatorial difficulty.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Memory and Cognition
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychology ; Experiments ; Cognition & reasoning
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Psychology
ID Code: 10026
Deposited By: Mrs Karen Gerrard
Deposited On: 25 Jun 2008 16:18
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2013 08:15
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/10026

Actions (login required)

View Item