On the algorithmic complexity of the Mastermind game with black-peg results
In this paper, we study the algorithmic complexity of the Mastermind game, where results are single-color black pegs. This differs from the usual dual-color version of the game, but better corresponds to applications in genetics. We show that it is NP-complete to determine if a sequence of single-color Mastermind results have a satisfying vector. We also show how to devise efficient algorithms for discovering a hidden vector through single-color queries. Indeed, our algorithm improves a previous method of Chvátal by almost a factor of 2.