This 280-Year-Old Algorithm Powers New Google Trips Apps


google-trips-algorithmShort Bytes: Google has recently launched a vacation planner app known as Google Trips. The app lets you plan various aspects of a trip like, the destination, food, stay, etc. An interesting thing about Google Trips app is that it uses a 280-year-old algorithm.

Google recently added two notable entries to its Google-made app catalog. One is an instant messenger called Google Allo which brings the Google Assitant to the Android and iOS. Another is Google Trips, an app that figures out travel plans for you. It efficiently manages one of the most tiresome aspects of going out on vacations.

Using the app, you can plan where to go, how to go, what to eat, where to stay, places to visit, etc. You save your plan on your device after you’re done. It’s simple.

Google Trips uses an algorithm that’s 280 years old. Most of us can’t digest that because we often relate algorithms with computer programming languages which rust with time. But algorithms are based on research and mathematical calculations and they don’t age, sometimes, even after hundreds of years, like in this case.

You might have heard about the 7-bridge problem. It was published in a research paper by mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1736. The problem was to get around the city of Königsberg using each of the seven bridges only once. “As it turns out, for the city of Königsberg, the answer is no”.

7 bridges problem
Image: Wikipedia

To solve this issue, Euler proposed the concept of Geometriam Situs (Geometry of Place), now known as the Graph Theory. Google researchers have used Euler’s paper as the basis to come up with solutions to problems more complex than visiting the bridges. Their requirement was to find efficient routes so that you don’t end up visiting a museum when it’s closed.

You can read the Google Blog post to know more about the algorithm.

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