Decision Support Puzzles for Applied Mathematicians
Any Port In A Storm
There is significant danger to boats caught out in the open sea during a storm. Ideally, boats will dock before the storm hits and wait it out.
The map above shows 20 orange boats out at sea. With a storm approaching, each boat needs to be directed to one of three docks. Docks have a limited number of spaces available for boats (indicated by the rectangular spaces). Altogether, there are 20 boat spaces available. The boats are clustered into three areas and each area varies in distance to the docks (as indicated by the black arrows). All boats must be assigned to one space in a dock.
Question: What is the minimum possible total distance traveled by all boats?
Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 15th, 2017. The winner, chosen randomly from correct answers, will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.