Shortest Journey

The maths of networks is used to calculate times, distances and patterns of movement.

How it works

Touch the screen to map out a flight path between Canberra and every other city marked on a map. Can you find the shortest path to travel to every city, while starting and finishing in Canberra?

Background

This is an example of the Travelling Salesman Problem. Good maths, combined with powerful computers means we can find close answers quickly, even if there are millions of cities to visit. However, there is no perfect way of finding the shortest route for all networks. is important for making timetables, planning schedules, delivering mail to letterboxes and even designing microchips and analysing DNA.