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IEEE Trans Syst Man Cybern B Cybern. 2001;31(5):791-6. doi: 10.1109/3477.956040.

Asymmetry in search.

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Siemens AG, Wien.


Most of the work on search in artificial intelligence (AI) deals with one search direction only-mostly forward search-although it is known that a structural asymmetry of the search graph causes differences in the efficiency of searching in the forward or the backward direction, respectively. In the case of symmetrical graph structure, however, current theory would not predict such differences in efficiency. In several classes of job sequencing problems, we observed a phenomenon of asymmetry in search that relates to the distribution of the are costs in the search graph. This phenomenon can be utilized for improving the search efficiency by a new algorithm that automatically selects the search direction. We demonstrate fur a class of job sequencing problems that, through the utilization of this phenomenon, much more difficult problems can be solved-according to our best knowledge-than by the best published approach, and on the same problems, the running time is much reduced. As a consequence, we propose to check given problems for asymmetrical distribution of are costs that may cause asymmetry in search.


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