Appendix A

Optimization Puzzles

In this section, I have collected some optimization puzzles for the reader’s amusement. Do not get frustrated if you cannot solve them right away; some of these puzzles just take some time to crack. Good luck.


There are 12 coins. One of them is counterfeit; it weighs differently. It is not known if the false coin is heavier or lighter than the right coins. How would you find the false coin with no more than three weighs on a simple scale?


A group of four people have to cross a bridge. It is dark, and they have to light the path with a flashlight. No more than two people can cross the bridge simultaneously, and the group has only one flashlight. Each individual takes a different amount of time ...

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