By the same authors

Travelling Salesman Problem Solved ‘in materio’ by Evolved Carbon Nanotube Device

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Published copy (DOI)



Publication details

Title of host publicationParallel Problem Solving from Nature – PPSN XIII
DatePublished - 2014
Number of pages10
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-10762-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-10761-5

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


We report for the first time on finding shortest path solutions for the travelling salesman problem (TSP) using hybrid “in materio” computation: a technique that uses search algorithms to configure materials for computation. A single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) / polymer composite material deposited on a micro-electrode array is configured using static voltages so that voltage output readings determine the path order in which to visit cities in a TSP. Our initial results suggest that the hybrid computation with the SWCNT material is able to solve small instances of the TSP as efficiently as a comparable evolutionary search algorithm performing the same computation in software. Interestingly the results indicate that the hybrid system’s search performance on TSPs scales linearly rather than exponentially on these smaller instances. This exploratory work represents the first step towards building SWCNT-based electrode arrays in parallel so that they can solve much larger problems.


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