## jueves, 7 de marzo de 2013

### A* Seacrh algorithm

A* uses a best-first search and finds a least-cost path from a given initial node to one goal node (out of one or more possible goals). As A* traverses the graph, it follows a path of the lowest expected total cost or distance, keeping a sorted priority queue of alternate path segments along the way.

It uses a knowledge-plus-heuristic cost function of node (usually denoted ) to determine the order in which the search visits nodes in the tree. The cost function is a sum of two functions:
• the past path-cost function, which is the known distance from the starting node to the current node $x$ (usually denoted $g(x)$)
• a future path-cost function, which is an admissible "heuristic estimate" of the distance from $x$ to the goal (usually denoted $h(x)$).
The $h(x)$ part of the $f(x)$ function must be an admissible heuristic; that is, it must not overestimate the distance to the goal. Thus, for an application like routing, $h(x)$ might represent the straight-line distance to the goal, since that is physically the smallest possible distance between any two points or nodes.

## Pseudocode

```function A*(start,goal)
closedset := the empty set    // The set of nodes already evaluated.
openset := {start}    // The set of tentative nodes to be evaluated, initially containing the start node
came_from := the empty map    // The map of navigated nodes.

g_score[start] := 0    // Cost from start along best known path.
// Estimated total cost from start to goal through y.
f_score[start] := g_score[start] + heuristic_cost_estimate(start, goal)

while openset is not empty
current := the node in openset having the lowest f_score[] value
if current = goal
return reconstruct_path(came_from, goal)

remove current from openset
for each neighbor in neighbor_nodes(current)
tentative_g_score := g_score[current] + dist_between(current,neighbor)
if neighbor in closedset
if tentative_g_score >= g_score[neighbor]
continue

if neighbor not in openset or tentative_g_score < g_score[neighbor]
came_from[neighbor] := current
g_score[neighbor] := tentative_g_score
f_score[neighbor] := g_score[neighbor] + heuristic_cost_estimate(neighbor, goal)
if neighbor not in openset

return failure

function reconstruct_path(came_from, current_node)
if came_from[current_node] in set
p := reconstruct_path(came_from, came_from[current_node])
return (p + current_node)
else
return current_node```
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## Complexity

The time complexity of A* depends on the heuristic. In the worst case, the number of nodes expanded is exponential in the length of the solution (the shortest path), but it is polynomial when the search space is a tree, there is a single goal state, and the heuristic function h meets the following condition: $|h(x) - h^*(x)| = O(\log h^*(x))$
where $h^*$ is the optimal heuristic, the exact cost to get from $x$ to the goal.

from wikipedia
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