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Situations like this are already well-solved in EDA tools like gEDA and other schematic capture and physical layout packages. These challenges would be a good place for Higher-Order Perl applications, as they're microworld problems like the 'Blocks World' problem detailed in AI books like Patrick Winston's Artificial Intelligence. What you describe is actually a fairly straightforward 2D+layers situation, and if you limit the allowable turnout designs and curve-piece radii, a recursive try-and-test application becomes very doable. It would work a lot like the Tetris solver used as an example in the Jaguar book, although the solution network would be much more complex and certainly the visualizer would, too.

In reply to Re^2: If I had a Free Two Months... by samizdat
in thread If I had a Free Two Months... by samizdat

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