Applications like Google Maps or navigation systems calculate shortest paths or fastest paths all the time. There have been very efficient algorithms to solve this task since the 50s. The most reliable path can be found via the same methods – using a little trick.
Hierarchical information is everywhere: Family trees, organizational charts, taxonomies or product breakdown structures. A good graphical representation can convey a lot of information very quickly. However, creating such a drawing manually is cumbersome. This article will show how such a task can be performed automatically.
I recently stumbled upon a game that is not uncommon here in Germany. It is called Scramble Squares (in German “Legespiel”). The very specific type of tile-based game, this post will be about, has quadratic cards with pictures on them. These pictures must be arranged to a square in such a way that the pictures on each card fit together with the pictures of the cards around it. I will show how complex this problem is and also present an algorithm to solve it.