Sure As I'm Sitting Here

Finding an Optimal Seating Chart

Every year, millions of brides (not to mention their mothers, future mothers-in-law, and occasionally grooms) struggle with one of the most daunting tasks during the wedding planning process: the seating chart. The guest responses are in, banquet hall is booked, menu choices have been made. You think the hard parts are over, but you have yet to embark upon the biggest headache of them all.

However, the algorithm is not exactly a quick optimization

The model ran for 36 hours on one node of a Beowulf cluster with two 2.83 GHz Intel E5440 quad core processors and 16GB of memory. The best solution found after 36 hours gave a very good starting point for seating assignments, and only required a few rearrangements to please the mother of the bride.

But, given some anecdotes I’ve heard, maybe it’s worth it.

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