Algorithms in the household chores

Personally I find various household chores interesting to think about.

There was a period in 2019-2021 (oh… you too?) when I was spending a lot of time at home, and saw repetitive chores. When doing these I couldn’t help myself thinking whether there would be a better approach.

Thinking without questions in mind is, however, often quite
fruitless. In computer science and the world of optimization, it is important to always pose questions, and possibly derive actionable optimization goals from those questions. When the goals are further both formalized and quantified, the algorithm developer (“researcher”) can evaluate scenarios, and seek a definite answer to two things:

  1. the bounds of optimization: how much can we shave off from resource consumption of some kind (time, space, pain) and what are the tradeoffs?
  2. the optimal way of doing something, if one such a recipe exists

The questions don’t often seem to contain a step of execution-hinting, if you will. By this I mean the question seems – at surface – to be pointless. We are omnipotent, that is, we feel anything is possible. Thus asking a question like “is it feasible for You to place clothes on a clothesrack in an optimal way”, you might be tempted to rush an answer and say: “Well of course! Why could I NOT?” And thus we introduce a constraint, the famous ‘..given’. Now the question has better shape.

Like this:

Is it feasible for a human to be able to place clothes
onto a clothesrack, in an optimal way? ..given the pile of clothes is in random order, has 4 types of clothes, the placement must follow 2 Rules; your clothesrack has a total of 10 strings, for a total capacity of 100 of 1 width unit (1 wu) clothes; and you may not ever backtrack (withdraw a placement and try again).

This calls for a sequel Post.

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