Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Achievement Unlocked: Break Expedia's Shortest-Path Algorithm

No, Expedia, if I try to go between Ithaca and Newark with stops first to Philadelphia and then to Boston, it is not ok to insist that I do Ithaca->Newark->other city->Philadelphia when I try to go directly from Ithaca to Philly.

Actually, there was additional shortest-path failing besides that (like insisting that particular direct flights that exist for some searches don't exist for others).

Expedia really needs to hire some graph theorists!

After several failed attempts and significant frustration, I basically went and bought the tickets I wanted with Orbitz instead.

Anyway, this is what I get for trying to arrange an SFO -> Clarkson -> Cornell -> Rutgers -> SFO trip, because all three of those colleges are in the middle of bloody nowhere, except with slightly different nowheres. (That said, I am very excited about this academic trip. I will visit collaborators at Clarkson, I will be starting at a collaboration at Rutgers, and I will be visiting Cornell for the first time since I left when I graduated and will be giving a talk in the colloquium for the program from which I graduated. Awesome!)

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