IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Puzzle—Shedding Light on Higher Dimensions

Listed author(s):
  • Martin J. Chlond


    (Lancashire Business School, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE, United Kingdom)

Registered author(s):

    Lights Out puzzles have been a popular computer pastime since the eighties. They consist of a grid of cells with each cell in one of two states, lit or unlit. When a cell is clicked, then that cell and its immediate neighbors toggle between lit and unlit. The objective is to identify the set of cells that must be clicked such that the entire grid is lit. Many variations on this theme devised by Jaap Scherphuis are at and one particularly interesting twist is at . This page implements, in the form of a Java applet, a set of tools to allow the creating, editing and playing of Lights Out puzzles on graphs. The nodes of the graph represent cells, and edges join any two cells that are considered neighbours. I show how to formulate Lights Out puzzles as integer programs and produce solutions using GLPK and Minisat. These are, respectively, open source software programs to solve Integer Programs and Satisfiability problems and are available within the GUSEK environment which may be downloaded from

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal INFORMS Transactions on Education.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2015)
    Issue (Month): 2 (January)
    Pages: 197-199

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:orited:v:15:y:2015:i:2:p:197-199
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA

    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:orited:v:15:y:2015:i:2:p:197-199. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.