Predicting optimal solution cost with bidirectional stratified sampling Conference Paper uri icon


  • Optimal planning and heuristic search systems solve state-space search problems by finding a least-cost path from start to goal. As a byproduct of having an optimal path they also determine the optimal solution cost. In this paper we focus on the problem of determining the optimal solution cost for a state-space search problem directly, ie, without actually finding a solution path of that cost. We present an efficient algorithm, BiSS, based on ideas of bidirectional search and stratified sampling that produces accurate estimates of the optimal solution cost. Our method is guaranteed to return the optimal solution cost in the limit as the sample size goes to infinity. We show empirically that our method makes accurate predictions in several domains. In addition, we show that our method scales to state spaces much larger than can be solved optimally. In particular, we estimate the average solution …

publication date

  • January 1, 2012

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