Persistently tracking multiple objects in cluttered environments is very challenging. We present a tracking association approach based on the shortest path faster algorithm. We first formulate the multiple object tracking as an integer programming problem of the flow network. Under this framework, the integer assumption is relaxed to a standard linear programming problem. Therefore, the global optimal solution can quickly be obtained using the fast dynamic shortest path algorithm, which highlights the dynamic programming characteristic of the shortest path, thus faster, algorithm. The proposed method avoids the difficulties of integer programming; more importantly, it has a lower worst-case complexity than competing methods but a better tracking accuracy and robustness in complex environments. Simulation results show that our proposed algorithm takes less time than other methods and can operate in real time.