Felner, Ariel


Value Compression of Pattern Databases

AAAI Conferences

One common pattern database compression technique is to merge adjacent database entries and store the minimum of merged entries to maintain heuristic admissibility. In this paper we propose a compression technique that preserves every entry, but reduces the number of bits used to store each entry, therefore limiting the values that can be represented. Even when this technique throws away low values in the heuristic, it can still have better performance than the traditional approach. We develop a theoretical basis for selecting which values to keep and show improved performance in both unidirectional and bidirectional search.


The Israeli AI Community

AI Magazine

This column provides an encounter with the Artificial Intelligence research community in the state of Israel. The first section introduces this community and its special attributes. The second section provides overview on some recent research projects done in Israel.


The Israeli AI Community

AI Magazine

This column provides an encounter with the Artificial Intelligence research community in the state of Israel. The first section introduces this community and its special attributes. The second section provides overview on some recent research projects done in Israel. The author serves as the chair of the Israeli AI association


A Summary of the Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

AI Magazine

The Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, (AAAI-15) was held in January 2015 in Austin, Texas (USA) The conference program was cochaired by Sven Koenig and Blai Bonet. This report contains reflective summaries of the main conference, the robotics program, the AI and robotics workshop, the virtual agent exhibition, the what's hot track, the competition panel, the senior member track, student and outreach activities, the student abstract and poster program, the doctoral consortium, the women's mentoring event, and the demonstrations program.


A Summary of the Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

AI Magazine

The Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, (AAAI-15) was held in January 2015 in Austin, Texas (USA) The conference program was cochaired by Sven Koenig and Blai Bonet. This report contains reflective summaries of the main conference, the robotics program, the AI and robotics workshop, the virtual agent exhibition, the what's hot track, the competition panel, the senior member track, student and outreach activities, the student abstract and poster program, the doctoral consortium, the women's mentoring event, and the demonstrations program.


Max Is More than Min: Solving Maximization Problems with Heuristic Search

AAAI Conferences

Most work in heuristic search considers problems where a low cost solution is preferred (MIN problems). In this paper, we investigate the complementary setting where a solution of high reward is preferred (MAX problems). Example MAX problems include finding a longest simple path in a graph, maximal coverage, and various constraint optimization problems. We examine several popular search algorithms for MIN problems and discover the curious ways in which they misbehave on MAX problems. We propose modifications that preserve the original intentions behind the algorithms but allow them to solve MAX problems, and compare them theoretically and empirically. Interesting results include the failure of bidirectional search and close relationships between Dijkstra's algorithm, weighted A*, and depth-first search.


Conflict-Based Search For Optimal Multi-Agent Path Finding

AAAI Conferences

In the multi agent path finding problem (MAPF) paths should be found for several agents, each with a different start and goal position such that agents do not collide. Previous optimal solvers applied global A*-based searches. We present a new search algorithm called Conflict Based Search (CBS). CBS is a two-level algorithm. At the high level, a search is performed on a tree based on conflicts between agents. At the low level, a search is performed only for a single agent at a time. In many cases this reformulation enables CBS to examine fewer states than A* while still maintaining optimality. We analyze CBS and show its benefits and drawbacks. Experimental results on various problems shows a speedup of up to a full order of magnitude over previous approaches.


Partial-Expansion A* with Selective Node Generation

AAAI Conferences

A* is often described as being `optimal', in that it expands the minimum number of unique nodes. But, A* may generate many extra nodes which are never expanded. This is a performance loss, especially when the branching factor is large. Partial Expansion A* addresses this problem when expanding a node, n, by generating all the children of n but only storing children with the same f-cost as n. n is re-inserted into the OPEN list, but with the f-cost of the next best child. This paper introduces an enhanced version of PEA* (EPEA*). Given a priori domain knowledge, EPEA* generates only the children with the same f-cost as the parent. EPEA* is generalized to its iterative-deepening variant, EPE-IDA*. For some domains, these algorithms yield substantial performance improvements. State-of-the-art results were obtained for the pancake puzzle and for some multi-agent pathfinding instances. Drawbacks of EPEA* are also discussed.


The Increasing Cost Tree Search for Optimal Multi-Agent Pathfinding

AAAI Conferences

We address the problem of optimal path finding for multiple agents where agents must not collide and their total travel cost should be minimized. Previous work used traditional single-agent search variants of the A* algorithm. We present a novel formalization for this problem which includes a search tree called the increasing cost tree (ICT) and a corresponding search algorithm that finds optimal solutions. We analyze this new formalization and compare it to the previous state-of-the-art A*-based approach. Experimental results on various domains show the benefits and drawbacks of this approach. A speedup of up to 3 orders of magnitude was obtained in a number of cases.


Memory-Based Heuristics for Explicit State Spaces

AAAI Conferences

In many scenarios, quickly solving a relatively small search problem with an arbitrary start and arbitrary goal state is important (e.g., GPS navigation). In order to speed this process, we introduce a new class of memory-based heuristics, called true distance heuristics, that store true distances between some pairs of states in the original state space can be used for a heuristic between any pair of states. We provide a number of techniques for using and improving true distance heuristics such that most of the benefits of the all-pairs shortest-path computation can be gained with less than 1% of the memory. Experimental results on a number of domains show a 6-14 fold improvement in search speed compared to traditional heuristics.