If you are given N maximally distant colors (and some associated distance metric), can you come up with a way to sort those colors into some order such that the first M are also reasonably close to being a maximally distinct set?
In other words, given a bunch of distinct colors, come up with an ordering so I can use as many colors as I need starting at the beginning and be reasonably assured that they are all distinct and that nearby colors are also very distinct (e.g., bluish red isn't next to reddish blue).
Randomizing is OK but certainly not optimal.
Clarification: Given some large and visually distinct set of colors (say 256, or 1024), I want to sort them such that when I use the first, say, 16 of them that I get a relatively visually distinct subset of colors. This is equivalent, roughly, to saying I want to sort this list of 1024 so that the closer individual colors are visually, the farther apart they are on the list.