# Traveling Salesman

MHB Math Helper

#### ModusPonens

##### Well-known member
Re: Travelling Salesman

I think it took me 5 or 6 times to get the joke...

#### Jameson

Staff member
Re: Travelling Salesman

I just started a bit of dynamic programming this semester so I get the joke but a month ago I would not have gotten it at all.

<3 xkcd.

#### mathbalarka

##### Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Re: Travelling Salesman

Ha! This joke is written in secret code and is only completely understandable to ones who are complexity theorists!

#### Evgeny.Makarov

##### Well-known member
MHB Math Scholar
Re: Travelling Salesman

Yes, well, as Mephistopheles says in Goethe's Faust,

My worthy friend, gray are all theories,
And green alone Life's golden tree.

(Though it's taken a bit out of context.) People may conceive and develop beautiful theories, like those about complexity or encryption, but there are thousands of circumstances that are impossible to take into account and that can override all efforts put into those theories. For example, ten years ago a paper (PDF) was published about vulnerabilities in the Java virtual machine where memory faults were induced by heat (!) and then exploited in order to execute arbitrary code. You can prove that Java is type-safe until you are blue in the face, and then someone comes along and does something you never imagined.

Here is another example from the movie Under Siege 2 with Steven Seagal (scroll to 24s).

#### ModusPonens

##### Well-known member
Re: Travelling Salesman

That was hilarious!

A lot is said about Chuck Norris. But Seagal solves any NP problem in 1 second.

#### ModusPonens

##### Well-known member
Re: Travelling Salesman

Ha! This joke is written in secret code and is only completely understandable to ones who are complexity theorists!
Sadly, that's not where my stupidity was lying.I understood the premise. Just wasn't geting that there is no need for route planning on the internet. Hence banging my head against the wall.

P != NP

Problem solved.

#### Deveno

##### Well-known member
MHB Math Scholar
Brute force solution to any computer programming problem:

EMP pulse-no computers, no problem.