Towards Effective Multi-Valued Heuristics for Bi-objective Shortest-Path Algorithms via Differential Heuristics


  • Han Zhang University of Southern California
  • Oren Salzman Technion
  • Ariel Felner Ben-Gurion University
  • T. K. Satish Kumar University of Southern California
  • Shawn Skyler Ben-Gurion University
  • Carlos Hernández Ulloa Universidad San Sebastián
  • Sven Koenig University of Southern California



Problem Solving Using Search


In bi-objective graph search, each edge is annotated with a cost pair, where each cost corresponds to an objective to optimize. We are interested in finding all undominated paths from a given start state to a given goal state (called the Pareto front). Almost all existing works of bi-objective search use single-valued heuristics, which use one number for each objective, to estimate the cost between any given state and the goal state. However, single-valued heuristics cannot reflect the trade-offs between the two costs. On the other hand, multi-valued heuristics use a set of pairs to estimate the Pareto front between any given state and the goal state and are more informed than single-valued heuristics. However, they are rarely studied and have yet to be investigated in explicit state spaces by any existing work. In this paper, we are interested in using multi-valued heuristics to improve bi-objective search algorithms in explicit state spaces. More specifically, we generalize Differential Heuristics (DHs), a class of memory-based heuristics for single-objective search, to bi-objective search, resulting in Bi-objective Differential Heuristics (BO-DHs). We propose several techniques to reduce the memory usage and computational overhead of BO-DHs significantly. Our experimental results show that, with suggested improvement and tuned parameters, BO-DHs can reduce the node expansion and runtime of a bi-objective search algorithm by up to an order of magnitude, paving the way for more effective multi-valued heuristics.