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I recently read about pathfinding algorithms on grids. It seems two of the most popular are Lee's algorithm and Hadlock's algorithm. Other than the space optimizations that these algorithms employ, it seems to me like both these algorithms are basically just the same as BFS and A* search respectively.

In Hadlock's algorithm, the detour number is used to guide the search. This seems to be the same thing as the heuristic function in A* search. I'm trying to understand whether there is really something more to Hadlock's algorithm than just being a memory-optimized variant of A* search for rectangular grids.

What's strange to me is that A*, the more general and widely used algorithm, was published 10 years before Hadlock's. So either there is a key difference between the two algorithms that I am missing, or Hadlock somehow got away with publishing something that was already well known as A*.

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