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Human Sight and Computer Search

In my Introduction to Computer Science class we had interesting discussions concerning the human powers of planning and pattern matching versus that of computers. In particular we considered the speed in which each can accomplish seemingly simple tasks. One of the students in the class, Mike McCarthy, took on a final project to compare human sight results on finding shortest tour on a map (i.e, the well known Traveling Salesman Problem). He wrote a program to see if the computer could beat his eyeball solution to finding a tour of all major Ohio cities. It turns out the computer was able to do about 4% better, but was much slower. See his results by clicking the image to the right; and a link to nice work by Mike.



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