It may seem obvious, but the simple insight is that we can find all of the rod positions by finding the positions of each of the rods individually. That is, instead of asking:

``Where are the centers of rods 1 and 2 and 3 and ... ?''

we can ask several different questions:

Each of these new questions is simpler than the original because each asks about only one rod. This means that we can solve the entire stacking problem by considering just one rod at a time-assuming that we can answer the simpler questions.

Return to lesson.

Eric N. Eide
Hamlet Project
Department of Computer Science
University of Utah