# Questions tagged [heuristics]

Questions about algorithmic strategies that quickly solve a problem well most of the time, but give no guarantees.

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### How to analyze the amortized running time of indexed linked list operations using potential method?

I have implemented an indexed linked list that runs (under mild assumptions) all single-element operations in $\mathcal{O}(\sqrt{n})$ time. The description is here and Java implementation is here. It’...
1 vote
29 views

### Difference between cost and the heuristic function in A* search

Looking at the image above, thinking in terms of A* search. I don't fully understand the heuristic function. The cost makes sense, so thinking in terms of a traditional map or navigation scenario. I'd ...
36 views

### Special case of single vehicle routing

I have a metric space $(V,d)$ described by a tree $T$. And I have $k$ pair of vertices $\{s_i,t_i\}$ ($i \in [k]$) s.t. each of the vertices $s_i$ and $t_i$ are leaves of $T$. There is a car at one ...
1 vote
50 views

### How to think about heuristics

I have a game about drone delivery company. The game consists of a rectangular map, which contains tiles that cannot be passed. I can control a certain amount of drones, each one of them starts at a ...
1 vote
39 views

### Partition data into two sets of the same size such that the sum of the average distances is maximized

Say I have a set of strings $S=\{s_1, s_2, ..., s_N\}$, and I want to partition $S$ into two sets $S_1$ and $S_2$ equally, i.e., $||S_1|-|S_2||\leq1$. Define the difference of a set as Diff(S_k)=\...
29k views

### Why is the A* search heuristic optimal even if it underestimates costs?

A* search finds optimal solution to problems as long as the heuristic is admissible which means it never overestimates the cost of the path to the from any given node (and consistent but let us focus ...
41 views

### How to build a data-structure for a moving points

Problem:- I have moving points in a 2d space with a fixed obstacle(A polygon) and a fixed destination. I want to find at what time Source(which is moving) can get a path to destination and what is ...
68 views

### Why the choice of the adjacent vertex with the least degree is a good heuristic for the hamiltonian path problem?

Even if the hamiltonian path problem is NP-hard there exist heuristics which return a correct path for many instances in linear time. In particular one of the main rules is always choosing the ...
109 views

### Warnsdorff's rule: more errors with odd sized boards

I wrote an algorithm based on the Warnsdorff's rule to solve the knight's tour problem, where you need to create a sequence of moves of a knight on a chessboard such that the knight visits every ...
1 vote
30 views

### Heuristics for a variant of the traveling salesman problem

I am looking at a variant of TSP in which rather than visiting every node, there is a given collection of (possibly overlapping) subset, and the salesman must pass through one node from each subset. ...
74 views

### Can A* with an inadmissible heuristic still be optimal?

It is clear to me that if some heuristic $h(x)$ is admissible, then $A^*$ is guaranteed to find a least-cost path. But is it also possible that $A^*$ is optimal if $h(x)$ is not admissible? In other ...
17k views

### How does consistency imply that a heuristic is also admissible?

A heuristic function $h (n)$ is... Consistent if the estimated cost from node $n$ to the goal is no greater than the step cost to its successor $n'$ plus the estimated cost from the successor to the ...
114 views

### What is the approximation ratio of this bin-backing algorithm?

Consider the following algorithm for bin packing: Initially, sort the items by their size. Put the largest item in a new bin. Fill the bin with small items in ascending order of size, up to the ...
1 vote
67 views

### minimising Longest-Path in DAG

Assume we have weighted DAG (directed-acycle-graph), source s and target t. Define the number of edges as $E$. Given $0<\alpha<1$: Choose $\alpha*E$ edges to cut their weight by half so that the ...
1 vote
28 views

### CVRP and removing edges from a graph

I am solving a CVRP (Constrained Vehicle Routing Problem) on a connected graph, that is not necessarily complete. Edge weights represent Euclidean distances. I know that, in general, the complexity of ...
1 vote
115 views

1 vote
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### Heuristic algorithm for the minimum weighted s-t cut with linear running time

To the best of my knowledge, the best algorithm for the minimum s-t cut in a weighted digraph is the Goldberg push-relabel algorithm with $O(n^{2}\sqrt{m})$ time complexity. I'm interested in solving ...
4k views

### Nilsson's sequence score for 8-puzzle problem in A* algorithm

I am learning the A* search algorithm on an 8-puzzle problem. I don't have questions about A*, but I have some for the heuristic score - Nilsson's sequence score. Justin Heyes-Jones web pages - A* ...
1 vote
122 views

### Partition the indices of 2d array to minimize sum of sub-matrices

Given an $n\times n$ Matrix $M$, and the indices $[{1,2,3,4,...,n}]$ are divided into several intervals : $[1,x_1],[x_1,x_2],...[x_k,n]$, which further extract several squared sub-matrices along the \$...
1k views

### the meaning of heuristics in artificial intelligence

I would like to know what 'heuristics' actually means in artificial intelligence. For example, I am reading a paper by Engelbrecht on the convergence analysis of the particles of the algorithm. The ...
1 vote
33 views

### Do we understand when metaheuristics are optimal? (gradient descent & simulated annealing in particular)

Gradient descent sometimes works better than simulated annealing and vice versa. Are there conditions under which we can prove that, given perhaps a restriction on the set of allowed algorithms, one ...
1 vote
83 views

### Is this a valid heuristic for Dots and Boxes to reduce the branching factor of the search tree?

I am implementing an AI based on the MiniMax algorithm that plays the game Dots and Boxes. I would like to reduce the branching factor of the search tree, by introducing a heuristic rule that limits ...
4k views

### Aren’t most constraining variable and least constraining value the exact opposite?

So aren’t MCV and LCV the exact opposite?MCV tries to choose the variable with the most constraints on remaining variables but LCV is opposite: it tries to rule out as least values for other variables ...
82 views

### A heuristic for finding an edge cycle cover

I am looking to find a minimum list of cycles in a graph such that their union gives the list of all simple cycles in this graph. In the example below, here are 4 simple undirected cycles: 1-2-3, 2-3-...
31 views

### Rearrange items in order reduce fragmentation and reduce wasted space

I have a segment with some offsets at irregular intervals There are items of various length inside. Items cannot be placed randomly. Instead, their left side must match some offset. Items are free ...