Problem-Solving Simulation

Essay by jig5379College, UndergraduateA+, March 2008

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A man has three animals on a river bank: a dog, a cat, and a mouse. I came up with the following solution to get all of the animals across the river without any of them being eaten. First I brought the cat across. Then I put the mouse of the raft and had the dog swim across, since dogs are known to be swimmers. This avoided any of the animals being left alone to be eaten.

How did you interpret the problem?After reading the scenario and understanding that the man cannot leave the cat and the dog alone because the dog will eat the cat. And that he also can't leave the cat and the mouse alone because the cat will eat the mouse. I decided to test a couple of different options to evaluate what other problems I may run into. I had to rule out other issues by clearly defining the problem.

To interpret the problem you have to look at the situation in different ways then that in which it was first represented. This may or may not immediately show a solution.

What strategy did you use and how did you evaluate your progress?I used the trial and error strategy and sub goals to come up with my solution. In this scenario I do not see another way to go about it. After interpreting that the cat and the mouse cannot be left alone and that the Dog and the cat cannot be left alone, I tried several times to get the animals across with no avail. First I thought, "This is simple, I'll send the cat first since the dog will not eat the mouse." I quickly found out that it wasn't as simple as I had imagined. The dog didn't...