# Introduction

• Bernhard Korte
• Jens Vygen
Chapter
Part of the Algorithms and Combinatorics book series (AC, volume 21)

## Abstract

Let us start with two examples. A company has a machine which drills holes into printed circuit boards. Since it produces many of these boards it wants the machine to complete one board as fast as possible. We cannot optimize the drilling time but we can try to minimize the time the machine needs to move from one point to another. Usually drilling machines can move in two directions: the table moves horizontally while the drilling arm moves vertically. Since both movements can be done simultaneously, the time needed to adjust the machine from one position to another is proportional to the maximum of the horizontal and the vertical distance. This is often called the -distance.

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