Planning Your Route: Where to Start?
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CitationSengupta, Lahari. Mariescu-Istodor, Radu. Fränti, Pasi. (2018). Planning Your Route: Where to Start?. Computational Brain & Behavior, 1 (3-4) , 252-265. 10.1007/s42113-018-0018-0.
Tour planning is an important part of location-based applications. A tour planner provides an optimized path through places of interests (targets) by minimizing the tour length or by applying some other constraints. It is usually formulated as a travelling salesman problem (TSP) or vehicle routing problem (VRP). In the present study, we focus on how to choose the best starting location in case of an open-loop TSP. We consider three different strategies for selecting the starting location and compare their effectiveness with regard to optimizing tour length. If all targets are visible, most humans tend to start on the convex hull or from the furthest point. However, there are also cases where not all targets are visible beforehand, and the only information given is the bounding box. An optimum tour then typically starts from the corner or the shorter side of the box. Humans also have a strong preference to start from a corner. A good strategy can result in the shortest tour, while a bad strategy can even add 20% to the total tour length.