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Is this a linear programming problem?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg24961] Is this a linear programming problem?
  • From: CDJ <cdjones+ at>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 08:27:20 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: University of Pittsburgh
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


I'm trying to solve the following problem, and I need a little bit of
direction (I'd like to solve it on my own, so just some direction,

Given: a 2 x n matrix whose entries are randomly selected from {0, 1, 2,
3, 4 , 5}

Task: to "tidy up" the matrix in as few steps as possible

Definition1: A _step_ is interchanging the locations of two elements in
the matrix

Definition2: To _tidy up_ a matrix is to re-arrange the elements so that
all the 0's are together, all the 1's are together, etc.

There are a few other specific constraints, but that's the general
problem. Sort of like a disk defrag, or better yet, a 2d tower of hanoi

Is there any literature or anything on this?

If possible, please email responses in addition to posting...

thanks for any info,

cdjones+ at

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