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[1991] Proceedings 32nd Annual Symposium of Foundations of Computer Science (1991)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Oct. 1, 1991 to Oct. 4, 1991
ISBN: 0-8186-2445-0
pp: 298-303
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," [1991] Proceedings 32nd Annual Symposium of Foundations of Computer Science(FOCS), San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1991, pp. 298-303.
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