TSP—Infrastructure for the Traveling Salesperson Problem
Main Article Content
The traveling salesperson (or, salesman) problem (TSP) is a well known and important combinatorial optimization problem. The goal is to find the shortest tour that visits each city in a given list exactly once and then returns to the starting city. Despite this simple problem statement, solving the TSP is difficult since it belongs to the class of NP-complete problems. The importance of the TSP arises besides from its theoretical appeal from the variety of its applications. Typical applications in operations research include vehicle routing, computer wiring, cutting wallpaper and job sequencing. The main application in statistics is combinatorial data analysis, e.g., reordering rows and columns of data matrices or identifying clusters. In this paper, we introduce the R package TSP which provides a basic infrastructure for handling and solving the traveling salesperson problem. The package features S3 classes for specifying a TSP and its (possibly optimal) solution as well as several heuristics to find good solutions. In addition, it provides an interface to Concorde, one of the best exact TSP solvers currently available.