Optimising journey logistics

u587162
u587162 used Ask the Experts™
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is there of getting a website or app to look at the logistics of going from A to three different places in the best logical or efficient order?

like sightseeing by car but optimising the route without double backing on oneself?  does google map have a way of calculating all that for you showing each route back to back?
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Principal Software Engineer
Commented:
In Operations Research this is known as the "traveling salesman" problem.  It is analytical but NP complex, and it rapidly grows in size with the number of points to be visited.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travelling_salesman_problem

For the case of three locations with a fixed starting point it is probably easiest to eyeball it and choose what looks like a good path.

"It has been observed that humans are able to produce near-optimal solutions quickly, in a close-to-linear fashion, with performance that ranges from 1% less efficient for graphs with 10-20 nodes, and 11% more efficient for graphs with 120 nodes. The apparent ease with which humans accurately generate near-optimal solutions to the problem has led researchers to hypothesize that humans use one or more heuristics, with the two most popular theories arguably being the convex-hull hypothesis and the crossing-avoidance heuristic."

TSPLIB has code to deal with the problem but you'd need to roll your own container.

https://comopt.ifi.uni-heidelberg.de/software/TSPLIB95/

goofle has numerous sites that claim to deal with the issue.

https://www.google.com/search?q=trip+optimization&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1
The other approach is to brute force it, using the google api "directions". With point A and three destination that is nine calls.  
The Directions API is a service that calculates directions between locations using an HTTP request and returns time, distance and routes.
see https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/directions/intro

It is  $ .005 per call so the 9 would cost 4.5 cents, google gives you $200 credit per month.

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Commented:
Sounds like a nice research project as part of a thesis but is there no easy to use website that links to google (or google itself) which can tell me this (an ordinary person with no scientific background who comes to work at 9am and leaves at 6pm and lives a very simple life without complex algos)?
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems Engineer

Commented:
There are plenty of solutions from thesis to commercial that usually use genetic algos to accomplish the optimized route...but for such little amount of points is just man against machine.

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