[OT] Navigation systems

Mike Kerner MikeKerner at roadrunner.com
Thu Oct 17 10:41:44 EDT 2013


Hey, Pete.
There is an entire branch of mathematics, called Operations Research,
having to do with this type of issue, called "optimization".  In OR, you
conduct matrix manipulation (i.e. linear algebra) to find a solution.

You may also find information on this topic under "modeling", because you
build a mathematical model, and then solve it.

All of it can be done in a spreadsheet, or on the back of an envelope
(sometimes a rather large envelope, but an envelope, nonetheless), and the
algorithms are described all over the place on the internet.  Spreadsheets
generally have the functions built right in.  Anyone with a business degree
or MBA has taken at least one OR (or the lighter weight "Operations
Management") class, and thus have done the math by hand and by computer and
can help you with the details.

It's also very straightforward, once you have it straight in your head.  In
the case of trying to figure out the best way to get from "A" to "B" on a
map you can do shortest route, fastest route, least traffic route, most
main road route, etc.  Sometimes how you choose a route depends on what you
know (you can determine the length of each of the roads, but you may not
know the speed that traffic generally moves on that road, for example).

Even ERP system uses this technique to determine production schedules.


On Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 9:14 PM, Peter Haworth <pete at lcsql.com> wrote:

> I'm fascinated by how navigation systems
> Iike Google maps figure out a route between two addresses, wouldn't know
> how to set about such a logic task.
>
> Anyone out there ever undertaken such a project?
>
> Pete
> lcSQL Software
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