Dial's algorithm

Now consider generalizing the wavefront propagation idea. Wavefront propagation can be applied to any discrete planning problem if $ l(x,u) = 1$ for any $ x \in X$ and $ u \in U(x)$ (except $ u = u_T$). It is most useful when the transition graph is sparse (imagine representing the transition graph using an adjacency matrix). The grid problem is a perfect example where this becomes important. More generally, if the cost terms assume integer values, then Dial's algorithm [272] results, which is a generalization of wavefront propagation, and a specialization of Dijkstra's algorithm. The idea is that the priority queue can be avoided by assigning the alive vertices to buckets that correspond to different possible cost-to-go values. In the wavefront propagation case, there are never more than two buckets needed at a time. Dial's algorithm allows all states in the smallest cost bucket to be processed in parallel. The scheme was enhanced in [939] to yield a linear-time algorithm.

Steven M LaValle 2012-04-20