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Mielicki, Marta K.; Wiley, Jennifer – Journal of Problem Solving, 2016

Successful algebraic problem solving entails adaptability of solution methods using different representations. Prior research has suggested that students are more likely to prefer symbolic solution methods (equations) over graphical ones, even when graphical methods should be more efficient. However, this research has not tested how representation…

Descriptors: Algebra, Problem Solving, Graphs, Equations (Mathematics)

MacGregor, James N. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2013

Most models of human performance on the traveling salesperson problem involve clustering of nodes, but few empirical studies have examined effects of clustering in the stimulus array. A recent exception varied degree of clustering and concluded that the more clustered a stimulus array, the easier a TSP is to solve (Dry, Preiss, & Wagemans,…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Task Analysis, Testing, College Students

MacGregor, James N. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2012

A complete, non-trivial, traveling sales tour problem contains at least one "indentation", where nodes in the interior of the point set are connected between two adjacent nodes on the boundary. Early research reported that human tours exhibited fewer such indentations than expected. A subsequent explanation proposed that this was because…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Mathematical Applications, Graphs, Foreign Countries

Carruthers, Sarah; Masson, Michael E. J.; Stege, Ulrike – Journal of Problem Solving, 2012

Recent studies on a computationally hard visual optimization problem, the Traveling Salesperson Problem (TSP), indicate that humans are capable of finding close to optimal solutions in near-linear time. The current study is a preliminary step in investigating human performance on another hard problem, the Minimum Vertex Cover Problem, in which…

Descriptors: Performance, Problem Solving, Graphs, Mathematics

Dry, Matthew J.; Preiss, Kym; Wagemans, Johan – Journal of Problem Solving, 2012

We investigated human performance on the Euclidean Traveling Salesperson Problem (TSP) and Euclidean Minimum Spanning Tree Problem (MST-P) in regards to a factor that has previously received little attention within the literature: the spatial distributions of TSP and MST-P stimuli. First, we describe a method for quantifying the relative degree of…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Mathematical Applications, Graphs, Performance

MacGregor, James N.; Chu, Yun – Journal of Problem Solving, 2011

The article provides a review of recent research on human performance on the traveling salesman problem (TSP) and related combinatorial optimization problems. We discuss what combinatorial optimization problems are, why they are important, and why they may be of interest to cognitive scientists. We next describe the main characteristics of human…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Mathematical Applications, Graphs, Performance

Haxhimusa, Yll; Carpenter, Edward; Catrambone, Joseph; Foldes, David; Stefanov, Emil; Arns, Laura; Pizlo, Zygmunt – Journal of Problem Solving, 2011

When a two-dimensional (2D) traveling salesman problem (TSP) is presented on a computer screen, human subjects can produce near-optimal tours in linear time. In this study we tested human performance on a real and virtual floor, as well as in a three-dimensional (3D) virtual space. Human performance on the real floor is as good as that on a…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Mathematical Applications, Graphs, Visual Aids

Walwyn, Amy L.; Navarro, Daniel J. – Journal of Problem Solving, 2010

An experiment is reported comparing human performance on two kinds of visually presented traveling salesperson problems (TSPs), those reliant on Euclidean geometry and those reliant on city block geometry. Across multiple array sizes, human performance was near-optimal in both geometries, but was slightly better in the Euclidean format. Even so,…

Descriptors: Problem Solving, Mathematical Applications, Graphs, Geometry