lederhosen: (Default)
[personal profile] lederhosen
http://www.citeulike.org/user/ima/article/3351944

"In an industry project with a German car manufacturer we are faced with the challenge of placing a maximum number of uniform rigid rectangular boxes in the interior of a car trunk. The problem is of practical importance due to a European industry norm which requires car manufacturers to state the trunk volume according to this measure..."

The article goes on to note that this is an NP-hard problem.

Date: 2008-12-17 01:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chaos-crafter.livejournal.com
That of course means that the measure has become useless.
THe average drive will not attempt to sort an NP-hard problem when they go to pack their car.
The test should be - how many of these boxes can a 10 year old fit into the boot in 5 mins when offered $5 per box they fit.

Date: 2008-12-17 01:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nefaria.livejournal.com
Governments mandating impossible solutions to problems because they don't understand them, very typical.

Hmm, I'm wondering what the ideal alternative measure of the volume of a trunk would involve. Trunks are generally not watertight, so filling them up with water wouldn't work. Perhaps mathematical analysis of the computer model of the trunk would do the trick.

And I'd love to see a clever mathematician come up with a trunk of say 20 cubic feet that you couldn't fit a single Rubix's cube into because of convoluted topology.

Date: 2008-12-17 03:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sigmonster.livejournal.com
I don't know about you, but when I put stuff in the car, it's typically rigid objects with volume bounded below (at about 4 liters) and approximately cubical (so very approximate that a sphere is a cube, admittedly). So I'm fine with this measure as approximating real-world use.

And it's very easy to get a lower bound on the value, which is all that's required. Just stick a few boxes in, demonstrate your lower bound, and publish and advertise it as the trunk capacity. No problem.

What would be bad is if manufacturers could game the system to publish a value based on a vanishingly rare edge case. And from this point of view, having it be a hard problem is actually better - it's an excellent law!

Date: 2008-12-18 09:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lederhosen.livejournal.com
And it's very easy to get a lower bound on the value, which is all that's required.

Maybe all that's required by the rest of the industry, but the company generally wants to get that number as high as possible. If your competitor is advertising 500L trunk space, your company is probably not going to be content with 480L when they might be able to find another 30L by tinkering with it (note the reference in the article to a 'manual expert' and 'several hours of tedious work', which rather implies that the manufacturers are indeed willing to do this).

There are plenty of fields where packing expertise is a nonremovable part of the problem; it seems a shame to add it to a situation that doesn't strictly need it.

Date: 2008-12-18 08:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lederhosen.livejournal.com
Governments mandating impossible solutions to problems because they don't understand them, very typical.

The article seems to be saying that it's an industry norm rather than a government requirement, but I couldn't find a copy of the original rule to confirm that. I can confirm from personal experience that industry is almost as good as governments at coming up with stupid ways to do things...

Profile

lederhosen: (Default)
lederhosen

July 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
2324252627 2829
3031     

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 17th, 2017 06:51 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios