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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 15, Iss. 16 — Aug. 6, 2007
  • pp: 10473–10482

An Optical Solution For The Traveling Salesman Problem

Tobias Haist and Wolfgang Osten  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 15, Issue 16, pp. 10473-10482 (2007)

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We introduce an optical method based on white light interferometry in order to solve the well-known NP–complete traveling salesman problem. To our knowledge it is the first time that a method for the reduction of non–polynomial time to quadratic time has been proposed. We will show that this achievement is limited by the number of available photons for solving the problem. It will turn out that this number of photons is proportional to NN for a traveling salesman problem with N cities and that for large numbers of cities the method in practice therefore is limited by the signal–to–noise ratio. The proposed method is meant purely as a gedankenexperiment.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(200.0200) Optics in computing : Optics in computing
(200.4740) Optics in computing : Optical processing
(260.3160) Physical optics : Interference

ToC Category:
Optics in Computing

Original Manuscript: June 5, 2007
Revised Manuscript: July 3, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: July 3, 2007
Published: August 3, 2007

Tobias Haist and Wolfgang Osten, "An Optical Solution For The Traveling Salesman Problem," Opt. Express 15, 10473-10482 (2007)

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