Data Structures and Algorithms


Optimising Linear Seating Arrangements with a First-Principles Genetic Algorithm

Authors: Robert A. Martin

We discuss the problem of finding an optimum linear seating arrangement for a small social network, i.e. approaching the problem put forth in XKCD comic 173 – for a small social network, how can one determine the seating order in a row (e.g at the cinema) that corresponds to maximum enjoyment? We begin by improving the graphical notation of the network, and then propose a method through which the total enjoyment for a particular seating arrangement can be quantified. We then discuss genetic programming, and implement a first-principles genetic algorithm in python, in order to find an optimal arrangement. While the method did produce acceptable results, outputting an optimal arrangement for the XKCD network, it was noted that genetic algorithms may not be the best way to find such an arrangement. The results of this investigation may have tangible applications in the organising of social functions such as weddings.

Comments: 21 Pages.

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Submission history

[v1] 2016-05-11 02:37:54

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