# Outline. Best-first search. Greedy best-first search A* search Heuristics Local search algorithms

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1 Outline Best-first search Greedy best-first search A* search Heuristics Local search algorithms Hill-climbing search Beam search Simulated annealing search Genetic algorithms Constraint Satisfaction Problems Informed Search Local Search 1

2 Local Search Algorithms In many optimization problems, the path to the goal is irrelevant the goal state itself is the solution State space: set of "complete" configurations Goal: Find a configuration that satisfies all constraints Examples: n-queens problem, travelling salesman, In such cases, we can use local search algorithms Informed Search Local Search 2

3 Local Search Approach keep a single "current" state (or a fixed number of them) try to improve it by maximizing a heuristic evaluation using only local improvements i.e., only modifies the current state(s) paths are typically not remembered similar to solving a puzzle by hand e.g., 8-puzzle, Rubik's cube Advantages uses very little memory often quickly finds solutions in large or infinite state spaces Disadvantages no guarantees for completeness or optimality Informed Search Local Search 3

4 Optimization Problems Goal: optimize some evaluation function (objective function) there is no goal state, and no path costs hence A* and other algorithms we have discussed so far are not applicable Example: Darwinian evolution and survival of the fittest may be regarded as an optimization process Informed Search Local Search 4

5 Example: Travelling Salesman Problem Basic Idea: Start with a complete tour perform pairwise exchanges variants of this approach get within 1% of an optimal solution very quickly with thousands of cities Informed Search Local Search 5

6 Example: n-queens Problem Basic Idea: move a queen so that it reduces the number of conflicts almost always solves n-queens problems almost instantaneously for very large n (e.g., n = 1,000,000) Informed Search Local Search 6

7 Hill-climbing search Algorithm: expand the current state (generate all neighbors) move to the one with the highest evaluation until the evaluation goes down Informed Search Local Search 7

8 Hill-climbing search (aka Greedy Local Search) Algorithm: expand the current state (generate all neighbors) move to the one with the highest evaluation until the evaluation goes down Main Problem: Local Optima the algorithm will stop as soon as is at the top of a hill but it is actually looking for a mountain peak "Like climbing Mount Everest in thick fog with amnesia" Other problems: ridges plateaux shoulders Informed Search Local Search 8

9 State Space Landscape state-space landscape location: states elevation: heuristic value (objective function) Assumption: states have some sort of (linear) order continuity regarding small state changes Informed Search Local Search 9

10 Multi-Dimensional State-Landscape States may be refine in multiple ways similarity along various dimensions heuristic global optimum many local optima state feature 2 state feature 1 Informed Search Local Search 10

11 Example: 8-Queens Problem Heuristic h: number of pairs of queens that attach each other Example state: h = 17 Local optimum with h = 1 Best Neighbor(s): h = 12 no queen can move without increasing the number of attacked pairs Informed Search Local Search 11

12 Randomized Hill-Climbing Variants Random Restart Hill-Climbing Different initial positions result in different local optima make several iterations with different starting positions Example: for 8-queens problem the probability that hill-climbing succeeds from a randomly selected starting position is 0.14 a solution should be found after about 1/ iterations of hill-climbing Stochastic Hill-Climbing select the successor node ramdomly better nodes have a higher probability of being selected Informed Search Local Search 12

13 Simulated Annealing Search combination of hill-climbing and random walk Idea: escape local maxima by allowing some "bad" moves but gradually decrease their frequency (the temperature) Effectiveness: it can be proven that if the temperature is lowered slowly enough, the probability of converging to a global optimum approaches 1 Widely used in VLSI layout, airline scheduling, etc Note: Annealing in metallurgy and materials science, is a heat treatment wherein the microstructure of a material is altered, causing changes in its properties such as strength and hardness. It is a process that produces equilibrium conditions by heating and maintaining at a suitable temperature, and then cooling very slowly. Informed Search Local Search 13

14 Simulated Annealing Search combination of hill-climbing and random walk Informed Search Local Search 14

15 Beam Search Keep track of k states rather than just one k is called the beam size Algorithm Start with k randomly generated states At each iteration, all the successors of all k states are generated If any one is a goal state, stop; else select the k best successors from the complete list and repeat. Implementation Can be implemented similar to the Tree-Search algorithm: sort the queue by the heuristic function h (as in greedy search) but limit the size of the queue to k and expand all nodes in queue simultaneously Informed Search Local Search 15

16 Beam Search Keep track of k states rather than just one k is called the beam size Note Beam search is different from k parallel hill-climbing searches! Information from different beams is combined Effectiveness suffers from lack of diversity of the k states e.g., if one state has better successors than all other states thus it is often no more effective than hill-climbing Stochastic Beam Search chooses k successors at random better nodes have a higher probability of being selected Informed Search Local Search 16

17 Genetic Algorithms Same idea as in Stochastic Beam Search but uses sexual reproduction (new nodes have two parents) Basic Algorithm: Start with k randomly generated states (population) A state is represented as a string over a finite alphabet often a string of 0s and 1s Evaluation function (fitness function) Produce the next generation by selection, cross-over, and mutation Informed Search Local Search 17

18 Cross-Over Modelled after cross-over of DNA take two parent strings cut them at cross-over point recombine the pieces it is helpful if the substrings are meaningful subconcepts Informed Search Local Search 18

19 Genetic Algorithm function GENETIC_ALGORITHM( population, FITNESS-FN) return an individual input: population, a set of individuals FITNESS-FN, a function which determines the quality of the individual repeat new_population empty set loop for i from 1 to SIZE(population) do x RANDOM_SELECTION(population, FITNESS_FN) y RANDOM_SELECTION(population, FITNESS_FN) child REPRODUCE(x,y) if (small random probability) then child MUTATE(child ) add child to new_population population new_population until some individual is fit enough or enough time has elapsed return the best individual in population, according to FITNESS_FN Informed Search Local Search 19

20 Genetic Algorithms Evaluation attractive and popular easy to implement general optimization algorithm easy to explain to laymen (boss) perform well unclear under which conditions they work well other randomized algorithms perform equally well (or better) Numerous applications optimization problems circuit layout job-shop scheduling game playing checkers program Blondie24 (David Fogel) nice and easy read, but shooting a bit over target in its claims... Informed Search Local Search 20

21 Genetic Programming popularized by John R. Koza Genetic programming is an automated method for creating a working computer program from a high-level problem statement of a problem. It starts from a high-level statement of what needs to be done and automatically creates a computer program to solve the problem. applies Genetic Algorithms to program trees Mutation and Cross-over adapated to tree structures special operations like inventing/deleting a subroutine deleting/adding an argument, etc. Several successful applications 36 cases where it achieve performance competitive to humans More information at Informed Search Local Search 21

22 Random Initialization of Population Animated Image taken from Informed Search Local Search 22

23 Mutation Animated Image taken from Informed Search Local Search 23

24 Cross-Over Animated Image taken from Informed Search Local Search 24

25 Create a Subroutine Animated Image taken from Informed Search Local Search 25

26 Delete a Subroutine Animated Image taken from Informed Search Local Search 26

27 Duplicate an Argument Animated Image taken from Informed Search Local Search 27

28 Delete an Argument Animated Image taken from Informed Search Local Search 28

29 Create a Subroutine by Duplication Animated Image taken from Informed Search Local Search 29

30 Local Search in Continuous Spaces In many real-world problems the state space is continuous Discretize the state space e.g., assume only n different positions of a steering wheel or a gas pedal Gradient Descent (Ascent) hill-climbing using the gradient of the objective function f f needs to be differentiable Empirical Gradient empirically evaluate the response of f to small state changes same as hill-climbing in a discretized space Informed Search Local Search 30

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