Analysis of Christofides' heuristic : some paths are more difficult than cycles

J.A. Hoogeveen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

144 Citations (Scopus)
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For the traveling salesman problem in which the distances satisfy the triangle inequality, Christofides' heuristic produces a tour whose length is guaranteed to be less than 3/2 times the optimum tour length. We investigate the performance of appropriate modifications of this heuristic for the problem of finding a shortest Hamiltonian path. There are three variants of this problem, depending on the number of prespecified endpoints: zero, one, or two. It is not hard to see that, for the first two problems, the worst-case performance ratio of a Christofides-like heuristic is still 3/2. For the third case, we show that the ratio is 5/3 and that this bound is tight.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-295
Number of pages5
JournalOperations Research Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1991


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