Re: Searching strategies
Assuming that you are going to follow a strategy that searches from the
start to the centre and also searches on the way back to the start, then
when you get back to the start you have 2 scenarios:
1 - You run the flood algorithm and find that you have visited all the cells
on the flood route, in which case you have found the optimal route and it is
not worth doing any more searching
2 - You run the flood algorithm and find that you havn't visited all the
cells on the flood route yet, but you do know how many cells are on the
route that you took back and you also know how many are on the possible
flood route that you have just calculated. This last figure will be a best
possible number of cells (which might not actually be achievable when you
visit some cells and find extra walls).
If your best actual route so far is not too different from the best possible
flood distance you have just calculated then there is definitely no point in
So how much difference do we need before it is worth going out again to
Well, an explore run will typically require a run to the centre and back at
explore speed. If we say this is likely to take 15 seconds each way then the
full round trip will be 30 seconds which by UK rules means an extra second
of penalty time.
Now with typical run times to the centre now being sub 10 seconds, then to
save out extra second penalty time we need to find a new route that is more
than 10 percent faster to break even.
So with a typical maze route of 70 cells to the centre you need to be sure
of finding a route that is at least 7 cells shorter to break even.
So, given that the theoretically best route believed to exist at this time
will not always be able to be achieved, I would be looking to probably get
double the break even figure. I.e. the calulated best route must be 14 cells
better than the currently known one before it is worth going out to explore
Anyone else think this makes any sense?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Harrison" <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 6:10 PM
Subject: Searching strategies
In the UK, as in some other countries, we have a search penalty. A
proportion of the time taken to search the maze is added to subsequent speed
runs. That means that a mouse that did a less than optimal speed run early
might get a better score than a mouse that did the best possible route
If searching consisted of just a search to the goal followed by a search to
the start, a route would exist but it may not be the best.
Anyone have a feeling (or data) to suggest whether it is better to search a
bit more or just go with what you have as soon as possible?
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