The Wall Street Journal reports how to find the shortest path to visit all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in 35 days. Of course, this is a constrained Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) with additional constraints that take the scheduling of home games at each stadium into account. Unfortunately, the TSP was not mentioned by name in the article. The distances between the stadiums reflect driving time and additional rest time (unless you’re a robot, you need rest before you drive). The model was built and solved by Ben Blatt of the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective using “linear programming.” Last time I checked, the TSP was a discrete problem, and those of you who study the TSP will have to let me know if there are linear programming based heuristics that can be used.
Blatt has not been enjoying his optimal tour. Efficiency may be beautiful, but it’s not always fun.
Are you using OR models to plan a vacation this summer?