Robert Bosch has created a fascinating series of instances of the traveling salesman problem (TSP) that provide continuous-line drawings of well-known pieces of art. Techniques for developing such point sets have evolved over the past several years through work of Bosch and Craig Kaplan.

One of Bosch's instances is the 100,000-point set for the Mona Lisa TSP Challenge. Additional instances range in size up to 200,000 cities, providing a difficult test for TSP solution methods. The data sets are specified in TSPLIB format. We thank Bob for making these beautiful problems available to the research community.

Original Art Data Set Cities
da Vinci's Mona Lisa mona-lisa100K.tsp 100,000
van Gogh's Self Portrait 1889 vangogh120K.tsp 120,000
Botticelli's The Birth of Venus venus140K.tsp 140,000
Velazquez's Juan de Pareja pareja160K.tsp 160,000
Courbet's The Desperate Man courbet180K.tsp 180,000
Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring earring200K.tsp 200,000


The following papers discuss the mathematics behind the selection of city locations for these TSP Art instances.

Pretty examples of other TSP drawings can be found on Robert Bosch's TSP Art page and on the page of Craig Kaplan.

The best known results for the TSP Art instances are given in the table below. I would be happy to post any improvements you find!

Problem Best Tour Source of Tour
mona-lisa100K 5,757,191 Yuichi Nagata
vangogh120K 6,543,610 Yuichi Nagata
venus140K 6,810,665 Yuichi Nagata
pareja160K 7,619,953 Yuichi Nagata
courbet180K 7,888,733 Yuichi Nagata
earring200K 8,171,677 Yuichi Nagata