Kanal, L. N.

Search in Artificial Intelligence


Citing the confusing statements in the AI literature concerning the relationship between branch and bound (B&B) and heuristic search procedures were present a simple and general formulation of B&B which should help dispel much of the confusion. We illustrate the utility of the formulation by showing that through it some apparently very different algorithms for searching And/Or trees reveal the specific nature of their similarities and differences. In addition to giving new insights into the relationships among some AI search algorithms, the general formulation also provides suggestions on how existing search procedures may be varied to obtain new algorithms.

General branch and bound, and its relation to A* and AO*


Branch and Bound (B&B) is a problem-solving technique which is widely used for various problems encountered in operations research and combinatorial mathematics. Various heuristic search procedures used in artificial intelligence (AI) are considered to be related to B&B procedures. However, in the absence of any generally accepted terminology for B&B procedures, there have been widely differing opinions regarding the relationships between these procedures and B&B. This paper presents a formulation of B&B general enough to include previous formulations as special cases, and shows how two well-known AI search procedures (A and AO) are special cases of this general formulation.