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Ing. Jonathan Alonzo Garca (2010-519)
P versus NP is the following question of interest to people working
with computers and in mathematics: Can every solved problem whose
answer can be checked quickly by a computer also be quickly solved by
a computer? P and NP are the two types of math's problems referred
to: P problems are fast for computers to solve, and so are considered
"easy". NP problems are fast (and so "easy") for a computer to check,
but are not necessarily easy to solve.
It is one of the seven Millennium Prize Problems
selected by the Clay Mathematics Institute to carry a
US$1,000,000 prize for the first correct solution.
P problems are easily solved by computers, and NP problems are not
easilysolvable, but if you present a potential solution its easy
toverifywhether its correct or not.
As you can see from the diagram above, all P problems are NP problems. That is, if
its easy for the computer to solve, its easy to verify the solution. So the P vs NP
problem is just asking if these two problem types are the same, or if they are
different, i.e. that there are some problems that are easily verified but not easily
It currently appears that P NP, meaning we have plenty of
examples of problems that we can quickly verify potential answers
to, but that we cant solve quickly.
A traveling salesman wants to visit 100
different cities by driving, starting and
ending his trip at home. He has a limited
supply of gasoline, so he can only drive a

Lets look at total of 10,000 kilometers. He wants to

know if he can visit all of the cities

a few without running out of gasoline.

A farmer wants to take 100 watermelons of

different masses to the market. She needs to
pack the watermelons into boxes. Each box
can only hold 20 kilograms without breaking.
The farmer needs to know if 10 boxes will be
enough for her to carry all 100 watermelons
to market.
All of these problems share a common characteristic that is the key
to understanding the intrigue of P versus NP: In order to solve
themyou have to try all combinations.
This is why the answer to the P vs. NP problem is so interesting to people. If
anyone were able to show that P is equal to NP, it would make difficult real-
world problems trivial for computers.
1. P vs. NP deals with the gap between
computers being able to quickly solve
problems vs. just being able to test proposed
solutions for correctness.
2. As such, the P vs. NP problem is the search
for a way to solve problems that require the
SUMMARY: trying of millions, billions, or trillions of
combinations without actually having to try
each one.
3. Solving this problem would have profound
effects on computing, and therefore on our