Proceedings 32nd Annual Symposium of Foundations of Computer Science (1991)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Oct. 1, 1991 to Oct. 4, 1991
X. Deng , Dept. of Comput. Sci., York Univ., North York, Ont., Canada
The authors consider the problem faced by a newborn that must explore and learn an unknown room with obstacles in it. They seek algorithms that achieve a bounded ratio of the worst-case distance traversed in order to see all visible points of the environment (thus creating a map), divided by the optimum distance needed to verify the map. The situation is complicated by the fact that the latter offline problem (optimally verifying a map) is NP-hard and thus must be solved approximately. Although the authors show that there is no such competitive algorithm for general obstacle courses, they give a competitive algorithm for the case of a polygonal room with a bounded number of obstacles in it.
polygonal room, learning, unknown environment, bounded ratio, worst-case distance, offline problem, NP-hard, general obstacle courses, competitive algorithm
T. Kameda, C. Papadimitriou and X. Deng, "How to learn an unknown environment,"  Proceedings 32nd Annual Symposium of Foundations of Computer Science(FOCS), San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1991, pp. 298-303.