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Chinese Postman Problem

  1. Wanyan Yu,
  2. Rajan Batta

Published Online: 14 JAN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470400531.eorms0142

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

How to Cite

Yu, W. and Batta, R. 2011. Chinese Postman Problem. Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science. .

Author Information

  1. University at Buffalo (State University of New York), Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Buffalo, New York

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JAN 2011

Abstract

This article describes one of the classical routing problems—Chinese postman problem (CPP). The objective of CPP is to determine a closed walk of minimum length covering each arc on the graph at least once. Five types of CPP based on the properties of graphs are discussed: Undirected CPP, directed CPP, mixed CPP, windy postman problem (WPP), and hierarchical postman problem (HPP). The first two types of problems are polynomially solvable while the other three are proved to be NP-hard. Available mathematical models and algorithms are summarized for each problem type. This article also presents some variations of the CPP and recent results from the literature.

Keywords:

  • Chinese postman problem, arc routing;
  • Eulerian graph;
  • windy postman problem (WPP);
  • hierarchical postman problem (HPP)