An Economics Approach to Hard Computational Problems

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Science  03 Jan 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5296, pp. 51-54
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5296.51

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A general method for combining existing algorithms into new programs that are unequivocally preferable to any of the component algorithms is presented. This method, based on notions of risk in economics, offers a computational portfolio design procedure that can be used for a wide range of problems. Tested by solving a canonical NP-complete problem, the method can be used for problems ranging from the combinatorics of DNA sequencing to the completion of tasks in environments with resource contention, such as the World Wide Web.

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