#### Efficient optimization of the Held–Karp lower bound

Given a weighted undirected graph $G=(V,E)$, the Held–Karp lower bound for the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) is obtained by selecting an arbitrary vertex $\overline{p}\in V$, by computing a minimum cost tree spanning $V\setminus \left\{\overline{p}\right\}$ and adding two minimum cost edges adjacent to $\overline{p}$. In general, different selections of vertex $\overline{p}$ provide different lower bounds. In this paper it is shown that the selection of vertex $\overline{p}$ can be optimized, to obtain the largest possible Held–Karp lower bound, with the same worst-case computational time complexity required to compute a single minimum spanning tree. Although motivated by the optimization of the Held–Karp lower bound for the TSP, the algorithm solves a more general problem, allowing for the efficient pre-computation of alternative minimum spanning trees in weighted graphs where any vertex can be deleted.