Heuristic evaluation functions in artificial intelligence search algorithms

Minds and Machines 5 (4):489-498 (1995)
Abstract
We consider a special case of heuristics, namely numeric heuristic evaluation functions, and their use in artificial intelligence search algorithms. The problems they are applied to fall into three general classes: single-agent path-finding problems, two-player games, and constraint-satisfaction problems. In a single-agent path-finding problem, such as the Fifteen Puzzle or the travelling salesman problem, a single agent searches for a shortest path from an initial state to a goal state. Two-player games, such as chess and checkers, involve an adversarial relationship between two players, each trying to win the game. In a constraint-satisfaction, problem, such as the 8-Queens problem, the task is to find a state that satisfies a set of constraints. All of these problems are computationally intensive, and heuristic evaluation functions are used to reduce the amount of computation required to solve them. In each case we explain the nature of the evaluation functions used, how they are used in search algorithms, and how they can be automatically learned or acquired.
Keywords Artificial intelligence  heuristics  search  two-player games  constraint-satisfaction
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