Category Archives: Mathematics

The (Mis)Behavior of Markets

The global financial system is a house built on sand. This is the main argument that the highly acclaimed mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot makes in his 2004 book “The Misbehavior of Markets”. And here we are, at the dusk of 2008, having seen global markets plummet an average 50% the last few months. Could he be… Continue reading »

Behind the Scenes of OptiMap

What really happens when you hit the ‘Calculate fastest roundtrip’-button in OptiMap? The problem we attempt to solve is a classic and is called the ‘Travelling Salesman Problem’ or simply TSP. Before we dive into this intrigueing question, some definitions are useful. Each location will be referred to as a node, with location number denoted… Continue reading »

A Fastest Roundtrip Finder for Google Maps

Imagine you are a salesperson and have to visit a number of customers. However, you want to spend as little time as possible driving. If you only have to visit two or three locations, it is usually easy to find the optimal route. You can use regular map services such as Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps or MapQuest to find the shortest path between two places. However, as the number of… Continue reading »

A (Very) Simple Oil Field

Assume and are the amount of oil in the ground and the production rate respectively. We model the behaviour of the oil field with a system of linear ordinary differential equations (ODEs). In clear text, this means that the amount of oil in the ground decreases by the amount produced, and the production capacity increases… Continue reading »