The Domino 's Dilemma

I was talking with a friend of mine when I came up with this problem to describe the real world applications of the algorithms that we studied in college. Of the cuff TSP or Traveling Sales Person problem came up and how we solve it, and problems in the real world that can come close to it.

Then it stuck, how about the problem of home delivery? For example take the case of Domino's which is famous for it's home delivery model.

It may not be too much to expect that there are times when they have multiple orders to cater to and all the destinations in different directions, and to top it all they have a limited staff and some of the routes are notorious for their traffic jams. I don't know if Domino's uses any automated system to schedule their deliveries, but for our sake assume they want an automated system. Then how do you define the above problem and how do you solve it.

The above are a few of the requirements, we need to extract more before we can define the problem. Nevertheless its interesting for me and triggers my grey cells, will work on it and keep posting. You folks think over it.

Come to think of it, how do DELL, FedEx, McDonald's, Wal Mart, all these have to solve some very fundamental problems to ensure that the customer is serviced right. Now many of you may say big deal, what do you have the supply chain management and host of other software for. I have one question for them, yes its not big deal, but can you do it for a simplified scenario like the one I mentioned above.

Will it not be more interesting and involving to study algorithms in colleges with reference to such real world issues than teaching in the boring staid old ways.

Any way, I will post more on this in the future. For now let us help Domino's to deliver us the Pizza in 20 minutes. Hungry Kya!!