Dijkstra’s Algorithm using Python

Dijkstra’s algorithm is also known as the single-source shortest path algorithm. It is used for finding the shortest path between the nodes of a graph where the cost of each path is not the same. In this article, I will take you through Dijkstra’s algorithm and its implementation using Python.

Dijkstra’s Algorithm

Dijkstra’s algorithm is used to find the shortest path between the nodes of a graph. In real-world applications, it is used to automatically find directions between physical locations, as the directions you get on Google Maps is an example of Dijkstra’s algorithm.

We can also use the Breadth-First Search algorithm to find the shortest path, but the problem is, it assumes the cost of traversing each path is the same. While Dijkstra’s algorithm helps us find the shortest path where the cost of each path is not the same.

In the Breadth-First Search algorithm, we move from one node to all the other nodes, which means we follow the first-come, first-served method. But in Dijkstra’s algorithm, instead of following the first-come, first-served method, we deal with the closest nodes first so that it takes a very small number of steps to find the shortest path.

Dijkstra’s Algorithm using Python

I hope you now have understood what is Dijkstra’s algorithm. To implement it we have to choose the first node that is closest to the source to find the shortest path. Now let’s see how to implement Dijkstra’s algorithm using Python:

=== Dijkstra ===
A >> G:
[(5, 'D', ('A', ())), (7, 'B', ('A', ()))]
[(7, 'B', ('A', ())), (12, 'E', ('D', ('A', ()))), (11, 'F', ('D', ('A', ())))]
[(14, 'E', ('B', ('A', ()))), (21, 'G', ('E', ('D', ('A', ())))), (15, 'C', ('B', ('A', ()))), (22, 'G', ('F', ('D', ('A', ()))))]  
[(15, 'C', ('B', ('A', ()))), (21, 'G', ('E', ('D', ('A', ())))), (22, 'G', ('F', ('D', ('A', ()))))]
[(21, 'G', ('E', ('D', ('A', ())))), (22, 'G', ('F', ('D', ('A', ()))))]
(21, ('G', ('E', ('D', ('A', ())))))

Summary

In this article, I introduced you to Dijkstra’s algorithm and its implementation using Python. It is a better approach to find the shortest path when the cost of each path is not the same. The directions that you get in Google Maps is one of the examples where Dijkstra’s algorithm is used. I hope you liked this article on Dijkstra’s algorithm using Python. Feel free to ask your valuable questions in the comments section below.

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Aman Kharwal
Coder with the ♥️ of a Writer || Data Scientist | Solopreneur | Founder
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