On Bidirectional Heuristic Search in Classical Planning: An Analysis of BAE*


  • Kilian Hu University of Freiburg
  • David Speck University of Freiburg Link√∂ping University


Analysis Of Search Algorithms, Problem Solving Using Search, Search In Goal-directed Problem Solving


Heuristic search is a successful approach to cost-optimal planning. Bidirectional heuristic search algorithms have been around for a long time, but only recent advances have led to algorithms like BAE* that have the potential to outperform unidirectional heuristic search algorithms like A* in practice. In this work, we analyze BAE* for classical planning and the challenges associated with the underlying assumption of an explicit state representation. We show that it is crucial to use mutexes and reachability analysis to reduce the potentially exponential number of goal states, which makes it possible to create an explicit representation of a reversed planning task that can be used for the backward search of BAE*. Our empirical evaluation shows that BAE* solves more instances than A* in multiple domains with significantly fewer node expansions, demonstrating the usefulness of BAE* in planning.