AAAI Publications, Third Annual Symposium on Combinatorial Search

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Cost Based Search Considered Harmful
William Cushing, J. Benton, Subbarao Kambhampati

Last modified: 2010-08-25

Abstract


Planning research has returned to the issue of optimizing costs (rather than sizes) of plans. A prevalent perception, at least among non-experts in search, is that graph search for optimizing the size of paths generalizes more or less trivially to optimizing the cost of paths. While this kind of generalization is usually straightforward for graph theorems, graph algorithms are a different story. In particular, implementing a search evaluation function by substituting cost for size is a Bad Idea. Though experts have stated as much, cutting-edge practitioners are still learning of the consequences the hard way; here we mount a forceful indictment on the inherent dangers of cost-based search.

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