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Author Dechter, Rina ♦ Pearl, Judea
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format PDF
Copyright Year ©1985
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Data processing & computer science
Abstract This paper reports several properties of heuristic best-first search strategies whose scoring functions ƒ depend on all the information available from each candidate path, not merely on the current cost $\textit{g}$ and the estimated completion cost $\textit{h}.$ It is shown that several known properties of A* retain their form (with the minmax of $\textit{f}$ playing the role of the optimal cost), which helps establish general tests of admissibility and general conditions for node expansion for these strategies. On the basis of this framework the computational optimality of A*, in the sense of never expanding a node that can be skipped by some other algorithm having access to the same heuristic information that A* uses, is examined. A hierarchy of four optimality types is defined and three classes of algorithms and four domains of problem instances are considered. Computational performances relative to these algorithms and domains are appraised. For each class-domain combination, we then identify the strongest type of optimality that exists and the algorithm for achieving it. The main results of this paper relate to the class of algorithms that, like A*, return optimal solutions (i.e., admissible) when all cost estimates are optimistic (i.e., $\textit{h}$ ≤ $\textit{h}*).$ On this class, A* is shown to be not optimal and it is also shown that no optimal algorithm exists, but if the performance tests are confirmed to cases in which the estimates are also consistent, then A* is indeed optimal. Additionally, A* is also shown to be optimal over a subset of the latter class containing all $\textit{best-first}$ algorithms that are guided by path-dependent evaluation functions.
ISSN 00045411
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 1985-07-01
Publisher Place New York
e-ISSN 1557735X
Journal Journal of the ACM (JACM)
Volume Number 32
Issue Number 3
Page Count 32
Starting Page 505
Ending Page 536

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Source: ACM Digital Library