
The problem of the traveling salesman is a often discussed problem when it comes to routing. It involves optimizing the order of visits to several places in a way that the total route is as short as possible. The total route includes the journey from the last visited place to the place of departure. The computation cannot be managed by using simple methods  in particular if the distance is noneuclidian, but time or cost serves as basis for route calculation (Haggett et al. 1977).
Note: particularly in relation to optimization for the planning of delivery routes, we also refer to the calculation as a vehicle routing problem. This requires additional criteria in delivery planning.
This unit introduces the traveling salesman problem, demonstrates different scenarios that will show its complexity (particularly considering the vehicle routing problem), and presents various approaches that can be used to solve the problem. These include (Bott et al. 1986):