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database design question

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This is more a general design question than a specific code question.

I'm working on a route optimization program, basically a version of the traveling salesman problem. The problem is this:

Given an array of zip codes, e.g.,

dim $zArray[4] = [90210,10001,60290,33138]

and a proposed zip code to be added, e.g.,

$newzip=75201

The script's goal is to figure out where to add this new zip code into $zArray so that the sequential distance between the points in $zArray is the shortest.

I'm trying to figure out how best to create the data source. My current solution is to have a 43000 x 43000 array--there are about 43000 zip codes in the U.S.--and each cell is the distance between any two zip codes. Or do it in SQL with 43000 rows and 43000 columns. I'm just wondering if there's a better way to set this up. What do you guys think is the best way to set up the data source for fastest access?

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Are you serious about a 1.3Giga-rows table?

No that's not the way to do it. The simplest setup I would recommend for that is Spatialite (SQLite with the rTree extension plus a myriad of geographic geodesic layer plus ...).

You'll find everything you need there, and so much more. And you're doubly lucky since AutoIt has an SQLite UDF as well.


This wonderful site allows debugging and testing regular expressions (many flavors available). An absolute must have in your bookmarks.
Another excellent RegExp tutorial. Don't forget downloading your copy of up-to-date pcretest.exe and pcregrep.exe here
RegExp tutorial: enough to get started
PCRE v8.33 regexp documentation latest available release and currently implemented in AutoIt beta.

SQLitespeed is another feature-rich premier SQLite manager (includes import/export). Well worth a try.
SQLite Expert (freeware Personal Edition or payware Pro version) is a very useful SQLite database manager.
An excellent eBook covering almost every aspect of SQLite3: a must-read for anyone doing serious work.
SQL tutorial (covers "generic" SQL, but most of it applies to SQLite as well)
A work-in-progress SQLite3 tutorial. Don't miss other LxyzTHW pages!
SQLite official website with full documentation (may be newer than the SQLite library that comes standard with AutoIt)

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