Robotics: Science and Systems X

Multi-Heuristic A*

Sandip Aine, Siddharth Swaminathan, Venkatraman Narayanan, Victor Hwang, Maxim Likhachev


The performance of heuristic search (such as A*) based planners depends heavily on the quality of the heuristic function used to focus the search. These algorithms work fast and generate high-quality solutions, even for high-dimensional problems, as long as they are given a well-designed heuristic function. Consequently, the research in developing an efficient planner for a specific domain becomes the design of a good heuristic function. However, for many domains, it is hard to design a single heuristic function that captures all the complexities of the problem. Furthermore, it is hard to ensure that heuristics are admissible and consistent, which is necessary for A* like searches to provide guarantees on completeness and bounds on suboptimality. In this paper, we develop a novel heuristic search, called Multi-Heuristic A* (MHA*), that takes in multiple, arbitrarily inadmissible heuristic functions in addition to a single consistent heuristic, and uses all of them simultaneously to search for a complete and bounded suboptimal solution. This simplifies the design of heuristics and enables the search to effectively combine the guiding powers of different heuristic functions. We support these claims with experimental analysis on several domains ranging from inherently continuous domains such as full-body manipulation and navigation to inherently discrete domains such as the sliding tile puzzle.



    AUTHOR    = {Sandip Aine AND Siddharth Swaminathan AND Venkatraman Narayanan AND Victor Hwang AND Maxim Likhachev}, 
    TITLE     = {Multi-Heuristic A*}, 
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems}, 
    YEAR      = {2014}, 
    ADDRESS   = {Berkeley, USA}, 
    MONTH     = {July},
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2014.X.056}