Capstone - 03 - Shortest Path Computation


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Unformatted text preview: kes separating you from somebody else – a phenomenon that became popular by the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" game whose goal is to link any actor to Kevin Bacon through the least number of connections (edges) where two actors are connected if they have appeared in a movie together. Turns out the shortest path from any actor to Kevin Bacon is around six – hence the name of the game (and phenomenon)! In general, Dijkstra’s shortest path algorithm can be used to search for the best way to go from one configuration to another through well defined changes in configurations. An example is the Rubik Cube. 32 Recall that routers are computers that link up two or more local networks. A router handles any packet whose destination is not local, storing it, and then forwarding it to the “next” network (hop) towards its destination. Using Dijkstra’s shortest path algorithm, we can figure out how to forward packets along the shortest path. Unfortunately, reality (on the Internet) is much more complicated. 33 In order to compute the shortest paths, “somebody” must have access to the entire graph of the Internet. Having such an authority is not possible – nobody would be “trusted” to do this. Besides, the Internet is really an industry with many companies (called Internet Service Providers) making it up. Within the confines of a sing...
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