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FindShortestPath works only with two points.

Is there a function that finds shortest path among more than two vertices in specified order and never visiting any vertex more than once? For example we could have vertices {v1,v2,v3,v4}.

If you think the problem is equivalent to finding shortest paths between consecutive pairs of vertices ({v1,v2},{v2,v3},{v3,v4}) and then combining them (like it seems they assumed it here - How to find the shortest path going through some specified vertices) then I provide you with a counterexample.

Here is edge list of the counterexample graph.

UndirectedEdge@@@{{1,2},{1,3},{2,18},{3,18},{2,5},{3,4},{5,6},{5,7},{6,7},{6,9},{7,9},{9,10},{18,8},{4,8},{8,11},{8,21},{10,15},{15,11},{11,12},{12,13},{12,14},{13,16},{13,17},{16,17},{14,16},{21,17},{13,21},{4,7},{8,19},{19,10},{7,19},{14,17},{16,21},{1,20},{2,20},{3,20},{18,20}}

And here are all shortest paths from 1, through 15, to 21 of length 9.

enter image description here

None of these paths can be created by combining shortest paths between 1 and 15 and between 15 and 21.

Update - Another example:

Edge list:

UndirectedEdge@@@{{2,7},{2,25},{3,4},{3,15},{3,20},{4,13},{4,15},{5,10},{5,15},{7,15},{7,17},{7,25},{7,27},{8,14},{8,19},{8,20},{8,21},{8,22},{9,10},{9,23},{10,25},{13,19},{13,24},{14,21},{17,18},{17,30},{18,24},{19,23},{20,27},{21,26},{22,30},{23,27},{24,26},{25,27},{26,30}}

The unique shortest path from 5, through 17, to 15:

enter image description here

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1 Answer 1

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If timing doesn't matter, here's the brute force method:

g = Graph[
   UndirectedEdge @@@ {{1, 2}, {1, 3}, {2, 18}, {3, 18}, {2, 5}, {3, 
      4}, {5, 6}, {5, 7}, {6, 7}, {6, 9}, {7, 9}, {9, 10}, {18, 
      8}, {4, 8}, {8, 11}, {8, 21}, {10, 15}, {15, 11}, {11, 12}, {12,
       13}, {12, 14}, {13, 16}, {13, 17}, {16, 17}, {14, 16}, {21, 
      17}, {13, 21}, {4, 7}, {8, 19}, {19, 10}, {7, 19}, {14, 
      17}, {16, 21}, {1, 20}, {2, 20}, {3, 20}, {18, 20}}
   , VertexLabels -> Automatic];

v = {1, 15, 21};
subpaths = Partition[v, 2, 1];
minbound = 
  Total[Length[Most[#]] & /@ FindShortestPath@g @@@ subpaths];

Until[Length[res] > 0, 
 paths = FindPath[g, v[[1]], v[[-1]], {minbound++}, All]; 
 res = Pick[paths, MatchQ[#, Riffle[v, ___]] & /@ paths];

res

{{1, 3, 4, 7, 19, 10, 15, 11, 8, 21}, {1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 15, 11, 8,
21}, {1, 2, 5, 7, 19, 10, 15, 11, 8, 21}, {1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 10, 15,
11, 8, 21}, {1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 15, 11, 8, 21}}

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  • $\begingroup$ Similar, how I found the paths. No need to use MatchQ, more easy is to test whether the path contains v[[2]] - Select[paths, MemberQ[#, v[[2]]] &]. $\endgroup$ Aug 4, 2022 at 20:29
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, if you have only one in the middle. MatchQ is for general case like more than 4 consecutive points. $\endgroup$
    – halmir
    Aug 5, 2022 at 2:56
  • $\begingroup$ Then Riffle[v, ___] is sufficient instead of Riffle[v, ___, {1, -1, 2}]. $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2022 at 8:38
  • $\begingroup$ That's correct. edited $\endgroup$
    – halmir
    Aug 5, 2022 at 15:11

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