London Boroughs Challenge

Zone 1, Alphabet, All Lines - discuss them here
gasman
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Post by gasman »

tubeguru wrote:You could ensure people visit each borough thoroughly by specifying that they must use trains that stop at at least THREE different stations within that borough.
What's the big deal about having to visit each borough "thoroughly"? Looking at the Ohio challenge which inspired this one, it's clear that there were several occasions where they simply drove past a "Welcome to Whatjamacallit County" sign and immediately did a U-turn. I think it makes it a more interesting challenge that way - it's an exercise in covering all the regions while doing as little as possible of each one, and that doesn't detract from the planning aspects one bit.

I'm just pondering how you'd go about doing an automated algorithm for it - it's a tricky one, network theory with a bit of geometry and topology thrown in. Any thoughts, Hakan? :)
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standclearofthedoors
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Post by standclearofthedoors »

South Ruislip looks a very good place to start...
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hwolge
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Post by hwolge »

gasman wrote:Any thoughts, Hakan?
Indeed I have. I find this quite challenging. To quote myself:
hwolge wrote:To me the quest for a good route goes soemthing like this:
1) Get all possible raw data (time tables mainly).
2) Build a model around this to imitate real life. E.g. put probabilities (or rather distributions) for delays etc. This is real complicated and a lot of guessing goes in here along with experience.
3) Create an algorithm to find the statistically best route within the constraints of the model. This type of problem is known as "Travelling salesman problem" and is known to be immensly complex to solve in a complete way, but there are many ways to heuristically find suboptimal solutions.
This methodology should probably work for an all boroughs challenge as well. The trickiest part is obviously number 3. The first one is mostly hard work...

What I did to solve number 3 was to use a variation of genetic programming. I.e. create more or less random routes. Select the better ones of these. Mutate them a bit and mix them with each other, creating even better routes (and lots of worse ones of course). Select the best ones and continue...
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greatkingrat
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Post by greatkingrat »

As the inventor of this challenge I think it should be necessary to actually stop at a station or bus stop in each borough. I wouldn't allow walking - after all in the 275 you have to actually arrive or depart at a station by train.

I think starting in one of the South London boroughs with no tube lines might be a good idea as they have the most infrequent service.
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Soup Dragon
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Post by Soup Dragon »

greatkingrat wrote:As the inventor of this challenge I think it should be necessary to actually stop at a station or bus stop in each borough. I wouldn't allow walking - after all in the 275 you have to actually arrive or depart at a station by train.

I think starting in one of the South London boroughs with no tube lines might be a good idea as they have the most infrequent service.
As long as you arrive/depart on a train you can still walk between stations though? i.e. Arrive Great Portland St (Westminster) and walk to Warren St (Camden) for a departure on the Northern or Victoria line?
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greatkingrat
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Post by greatkingrat »

Yes, you can walk between stations if you want, it just won't count as visiting a borough.
londongirl
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Post by londongirl »

what if you say, got off at Great Portland St, caught a bus to Warren Street and thus into another borough? Buses would count correct?
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hwolge
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Post by hwolge »

To reiterate what Greatkingrat probably means (I certainly hope). This challenge should be in the spirit of the GWR rules. That means:
1) Each Borough should be visited at least once.
2) Visiting consist of arriving to, departing from, or be onboard a public transport (in service) that stops at a station/stop.
3) All PUBLIC transportation counts. E.g. Tube, Rail, Tram, Light Rail, Thames Boat (in public service) and buses.
4) Walking / running (no wheels, no pogo sticks or similar) is permitted but does not count as visits on its own. E.g. you can't walk to a bus stop and then leave again without taking a bus if you want to count it as a visit.
5) No PRIVATE transportation is allowed. This includes (but is not limited to) private/rented/borrowed cars or other vehicles, taxis, chartered trains, helicopters, jet packs etc.

I think this would in essence be how GWR WOULD define the rules...
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Going Underground
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Post by Going Underground »

Those set of rules look most acceptable, I will have to leave the helicopter at home then :wink:

Oh well all we need now is to get it organised........ :)
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greatkingrat
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Post by greatkingrat »

Yep, those rules look fine although doing a tube challenge with pogo sticks and jet packs does sound fun!
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The record has been set...

Post by Richard »

I'd like to claim the first record for the all boroughs challenge, with the time of 10 hours, 39 minutes and 50 seconds.

I started my challenge at Welling train station yesterday morning, and finished at London Bridge. There's plenty of room for improvement as I also watched Tottenham play Southend in the middle of my challenge.

I'd say that with refinements to my route (and without three hours in and around a football ground) I might be able to break the seven hour barrier.
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Going Underground
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Re: The record has been set...

Post by Going Underground »

Richard wrote: There's plenty of room for improvement as I also watched Tottenham play Southend in the middle of my challenge.

I'd say that with refinements to my route (and without three hours in and around a football ground) I might be able to break the seven hour barrier.
Brilliant this has got to be the longest delay on a challenge ever :lol:
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43019
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Post by 43019 »

greatkingrat wrote:Yep, those rules look fine although doing a tube challenge with pogo sticks and jet packs does sound fun!
I was thinking about using jet packs on a tube challenge very recently! Just what a Tube Challenger needs!

I like the sound of this challenge, I could be interested in doing this one day!
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Soup Dragon
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Post by Soup Dragon »

I had forgotten all about this challenge until Richard mentioned it in another topic. The great thing about this challenge is that you could also do it on a Weekend because it does not totally depend on tube train services. The current record is over 10 hours so should be easy to beat, unless you also take in a football match as Richard did :)

EDIT
The link for the map which was originally posted no longer appears to work. Any chance you could post it again Peter?
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jbom1

7h 41m 39s

Post by jbom1 »

I completed this challenge today (20 Aug 2007), starting at Hadley Wood and finishing at Welling. Things went really smoothly most of the time, though I missed a train by 1 minute at Elmers End late in the day and had a 25 minute wait. I kept the route flexible and most of the on-the-fly decision making worked out well, though I probably lost some time by not choosing the best option at Earl's Court.

My final time was 7h 41m 39s.
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