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- At certain times charities call
households offering to pick-up used items for sale in their stores.
They often do a particular geographical area at a time. Their
problem, once they know where the pick-ups are, is to decide on the
most efficient routes to make the collection. Find out how they do
this and investigate improving their procedure. A similar question
can be asked about snow plows clearing city streets, or garbage
collection. References: Euclidean tours, chinese postman
problem - information can be found in most books on graph theory but
one of particular interest is [B&C].
- How should one locate ambulance stations, so as to best serve
the needs of the community? How do major hospitals schedule the use
of operating theatres? Are they doing it the best way possible so
that the maximum number of operations are done each day? The
reference given above may help.
- How does the NBA work out the basketball schedule? How would you
do such a schedule bearing in mind distances between locations of
games, home team advantage etc.? Could you devise a good schedule for
one of your local competitions? Reference:
- How would a factory schedule the production of bicycles? Which
parts are put together first? How many people are required to work at
each stage of the production? Reference: [Gra].
- Look for new strategies for solving the traveling salesman problem.