AAAI Publications, Twenty-Eighth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Simpler Bounded Suboptimal Search
Matthew Hatem, Wheeler Ruml

Last modified: 2014-06-21

Abstract


It is commonly appreciated that solving search problems optimally can take too long. Bounded suboptimal search algorithms trade increased solution cost for reduced solving time. Explicit Estimation Search (EES) is a recent state-of-the-art algorithm specifically designed for bounded suboptimal search. Although it tends to expand fewer nodes than alternative algorithms, such as weighted A* (WA*), its per-node expansion overhead is higher, causing it to sometimes take longer. In this paper, we present simplified variants of EES (SEES) and an earlier algorithm, A*epsilon (SA*epsilon), that use different implementations of the same motivating ideas to significantly reduce search overhead and implementation complexity. In an empirical evaluation, we find that SEES, like EES, outperforms classic bounded suboptimal search algorithms, such as WA*, on domains tested where distance-to-go estimates enable better search guidance. We also confirm that, while SEES and SA*epsilon expand roughly the same number of nodes as their progenitors, they solve problems significantly faster and are much easier to implement. This work widens the applicability of state-of the-art bounded suboptimal search by making it easier to deploy.

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