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Publications & Technical Reports

Weighted heuristic anytime search: new schemes for optimization over graphical models
Natalia Flerova, Radu Marinescu, and Rina Dechter

Weighted heuristic search (best-first or depth-first) refers to search with a heuris- tic function multiplied by a constant w [Pohl (1970)]. The paper shows, for the first time, that for optimization queries in graphical models the weighted heuristic best-first and weighted heuristic depth-first branch and bound search schemes are competitive energy-minimization anytime optimization algorithms. Weighted heuristic best-first schemes were investigated for path-finding tasks. However, their potential for graphical models was ignored, possibly because of their memory costs and because the alternative depth-first branch and bound seemed very appropriate for bounded depth. The weighted heuristic depth-first search has not been studied for graphical models. We report on a significant empirical evaluation, demonstrating the potential of both weighted heuristic best-first search and weighted heuristic depth-first branch and bound algorithms as approximation anytime schemes (that have suboptimality bounds) and compare against one of the best depth-first branch and bound solvers to date.