A* Search

An example of A star (A*) algorithm in action ...

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A* uses a best-first search and finds the least-cost path from a given initial node to one goal node (out of one or more possible goals).

It uses a distance-plus-cost heuristic function (usually denoted f(x)) to determine the order in which the search visits nodes in the tree. The distance-plus-cost heuristic is a sum of two functions:

  • The path-cost function, which is the cost from the starting node to the current node (usually denoted g(x))
  • In addition, an admissible “heuristic estimate” of the distance to the goal (usually denoted h(x)).
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