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Monday, January 15, 2001

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find related articles. powered by google. EurekAlert Computer scientist solves old salesman problem
"It was a combination of things, physical and metaphysical, that killed Arthur Miller's traveling salesman Willie Loman.

Now a computer scientist at Washington University in St. Louis has developed and tested an algorithm that might at least have made Loman's road traveled a little easier.

Weixiong Zhang, Ph. D., associate professor of computer science at Washington University, has developed an algorithm that attacks an old problem in the computing and business worlds known as the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP). An algorithm is the backbone of computer operations; it is a step-wise mathematical formula, similar to a recipe, that solves a problem or reaches an otherwise desired end. The Traveling Salesman Problem is actually an umbrella term for a whole host of planning and scheduling problems, often involving routes; a classic one being a postman's route, for instance."

"Zhang also is working on efficient search algorithms for analyzing biological data such as DNA, RNA and protein sequences. He is particularly interested in applying his skills in computer science and artificial intelligence to a relatively new but very active area called computational biology, or bioinformatics."

[ rhetoric ]

Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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