Now he was getting somewhere. Next, he used that information to find an optimal search path across all illustrations that would put the reader in close proximity to all of Waldo's previously known locations.
Olson studies biologically inspired artificial intelligence and evolutionary processes, and so it should come as no surprise that he settled on a type of program called a genetic algorithm to find the optimal search path.
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In Olson's words, "As you can see, genetic algorithms continually tinker with the solution - always trying something slightly different from the current best solution and keeping the better one - until they can't find a better solution any more."
The search path that came up is here.
Since the path is not perfect, Olson offers three tips for your next Waldo/Wally search.
Let us know how you do.
Credit: Randal S. Olson, William Murphy from Dublin, Ireland, Where's Wally World Record / Wikimedia Commons and "Martin Handford Wally & Friends"/ Wikimedia Commons