Orchestrate Illusions (Superpermuter)
August 10, 2014 4:19 PM Subscribe
The Minimal Superpermutation Problem
- Imagine that there is a TV series that you want to watch. The series consists of n episodes, with each episode on a single DVD. Unfortunately, however, the DVDs have become mixed up and the order of the episodes is in no way marked (and furthermore, the episodes of the TV show are not connected by any continuous storyline – there is no way to determine the order of the episodes just from watching them). Suppose that you want to watch the episodes of the TV series, consecutively, in the correct order. The question is: how many episodes must you watch in order to do this?
There's relatively written about these but one of the most interesting places you can read about them is in Magical Mathematics
(that's a link to a very enjoyable interview about the book with Perci Diaconis, coauthor with Ron Graham).