Author

# Ariel Felner

Other affiliations: Bar-Ilan University

Bio: Ariel Felner is an academic researcher from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The author has contributed to research in topics: Heuristics & Search algorithm. The author has an hindex of 36, co-authored 191 publications receiving 5262 citations. Previous affiliations of Ariel Felner include Bar-Ilan University.

##### Papers published on a yearly basis

##### Papers

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TL;DR: This work presents Theta*, a variant of A*, that propagates informati on along grid edges without constraining the paths to grid edges, and shows experimentally that Theta* finds shorter and more realistic looking paths than either of these existing techniques.

Abstract: Grids with blocked and unblocked cells are often used to represent terrain in robotics and video games. However, paths formed by grid edges can be longer than true shortest paths in the terrain since their headings are artificially constrained. We present two new correct and complete anyangle path-planning algorithms that avoid this shortcoming. Basic Theta* and Angle-Propagation Theta* are both variants of A* that propagate information along grid edges without constraining paths to grid edges. Basic Theta* is simple to understand and implement, fast and finds short paths. However, it is not guaranteed to find true shortest paths. Angle-Propagation Theta* achieves a better worst-case complexity per vertex expansion than Basic Theta* by propagating angle ranges when it expands vertices, but is more complex, not as fast and finds slightly longer paths. We refer to Basic Theta* and Angle-Propagation Theta* collectively as Theta*. Theta* has unique properties, which we analyze in detail. We show experimentally that it finds shorter paths than both A* with post-smoothed paths and Field D* (the only other version of A* we know of that propagates information along grid edges without constraining paths to grid edges) with a runtime comparable to that of A* on grids. Finally, we extend Theta* to grids that contain unblocked cells with non-uniformtraversal costs and introduce variants of Theta* which provide different tradeoffs between path length and runtime.

544 citations

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22 Jul 2012TL;DR: In this article, a two-level algorithm called Conflict Based Search (CBS) is proposed to solve the multi-agent path finding problem, where at the high level, a search is performed on a tree based on conflicts between agents.

Abstract: In the multi agent path finding problem (MAPF) paths should be found for several agents, each with a different start and goal position such that agents do not collide. Previous optimal solvers applied global A*-based searches. We present a new search algorithm called Conflict Based Search (CBS). CBS is a two-level algorithm. At the high level, a search is performed on a tree based on conflicts between agents. At the low level, a search is performed only for a single agent at a time. In many cases this reformulation enables CBS to examine fewer states than A* while still maintaining optimality. We analyze CBS and show its benefits and drawbacks. Experimental results on various problems shows a speedup of up to a full order of magnitude over previous approaches.

517 citations

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TL;DR: A new search algorithm called Conflict Based Search (CBS), which enables CBS to examine fewer states than A* while still maintaining optimality and shows a speedup of up to a full order of magnitude over previous approaches.

Abstract: In the multi-agent pathfinding problem (MAPF) we are given a set of agents each with respective start and goal positions. The task is to find paths for all agents while avoiding collisions. Most previous work on solving this problem optimally has treated the individual agents as a single 'joint agent' and then applied single-agent search variants of the A* algorithm.In this paper we present the Conflict Based Search (CBS) a new optimal multi-agent pathfinding algorithm. CBS is a two-level algorithm that does not convert the problem into the single 'joint agent' model. At the high level, a search is performed on a Conflict Tree (CT) which is a tree based on conflicts between individual agents. Each node in the CT represents a set of constraints on the motion of the agents. At the low level, fast single-agent searches are performed to satisfy the constraints imposed by the high level CT node. In many cases this two-level formulation enables CBS to examine fewer states than A* while still maintaining optimality. We analyze CBS and show its benefits and drawbacks.Additionally we present the Meta-Agent CBS (MA-CBS) algorithm. MA-CBS is a generalization of CBS. Unlike basic CBS, MA-CBS is not restricted to single-agent searches at the low level. Instead, MA-CBS allows agents to be merged into small groups of joint agents. This mitigates some of the drawbacks of basic CBS and further improves performance. In fact, MA-CBS is a framework that can be built on top of any optimal and complete MAPF solver in order to enhance its performance. Experimental results on various problems show a speedup of up to an order of magnitude over previous approaches.

433 citations

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TL;DR: This work describes a new technique for designing more accurate admissible heuristic evaluation functions, based on pattern databases, that can be improved on the Fifteen Puzzle by a factor of over 2000, and to find optimal solutions to 50 random instances of the Twenty-Four Puzzle.

Abstract: We describe a new technique for designing more accurate admissible heuristic evaluation functions, based on pattern databases [J. Culberson, J. Schaeffer, Comput. Intelligence 14 (3) (1998) 318-334]. While many heuristics, such as Manhattan distance, compute the cost of solving individual subgoals independently, pattern databases consider the cost of solving multiple subgoals simultaneously. Existing work on pattern databases allows combining values from different pattern databases by taking their maximum. If the subgoals can be divided into disjoint subsets so that each operator only affects subgoals in one subset, then we can add the pattern-database values for each subset, resulting in a more accurate admissible heuristic function. We used this technique to improve performance on the Fifteen Puzzle by a factor of over 2000, and to find optimal solutions to 50 random instances of the Twenty-Four Puzzle.

217 citations

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12 May 2008TL;DR: BnB-ADOPT as mentioned in this paper is a memory-bounded asynchronous DCOP algorithm that uses the message passing and communication framework of ADOPT, but changes the search strategy from best-first search to depth-first branch-and-bound search.

Abstract: Distributed constraint optimization (DCOP) problems are a popular way of formulating and solving agent-coordination problems. It is often desirable to solve DCOP problems optimally with memory-bounded and asynchronous algorithms. We introduce Branch-and-Bound ADOPT (BnB-ADOPT), a memory-bounded asynchronous DCOP algorithm that uses the message passing and communication framework of ADOPT, a well known memory-bounded asynchronous DCOP algorithm, but changes the search strategy of ADOPT from best-first search to depth-first branch-and-bound search. Our experimental results show that BnB-ADOPT is up to one order of magnitude faster than ADOPT on a variety of large DCOP problems and faster than NCBB, a memory-bounded synchronous DCOP algorithm, on most of these DCOP problems.

208 citations

##### Cited by

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TL;DR: Machine learning addresses many of the same research questions as the fields of statistics, data mining, and psychology, but with differences of emphasis.

Abstract: Machine Learning is the study of methods for programming computers to learn. Computers are applied to a wide range of tasks, and for most of these it is relatively easy for programmers to design and implement the necessary software. However, there are many tasks for which this is difficult or impossible. These can be divided into four general categories. First, there are problems for which there exist no human experts. For example, in modern automated manufacturing facilities, there is a need to predict machine failures before they occur by analyzing sensor readings. Because the machines are new, there are no human experts who can be interviewed by a programmer to provide the knowledge necessary to build a computer system. A machine learning system can study recorded data and subsequent machine failures and learn prediction rules. Second, there are problems where human experts exist, but where they are unable to explain their expertise. This is the case in many perceptual tasks, such as speech recognition, hand-writing recognition, and natural language understanding. Virtually all humans exhibit expert-level abilities on these tasks, but none of them can describe the detailed steps that they follow as they perform them. Fortunately, humans can provide machines with examples of the inputs and correct outputs for these tasks, so machine learning algorithms can learn to map the inputs to the outputs. Third, there are problems where phenomena are changing rapidly. In finance, for example, people would like to predict the future behavior of the stock market, of consumer purchases, or of exchange rates. These behaviors change frequently, so that even if a programmer could construct a good predictive computer program, it would need to be rewritten frequently. A learning program can relieve the programmer of this burden by constantly modifying and tuning a set of learned prediction rules. Fourth, there are applications that need to be customized for each computer user separately. Consider, for example, a program to filter unwanted electronic mail messages. Different users will need different filters. It is unreasonable to expect each user to program his or her own rules, and it is infeasible to provide every user with a software engineer to keep the rules up-to-date. A machine learning system can learn which mail messages the user rejects and maintain the filtering rules automatically. Machine learning addresses many of the same research questions as the fields of statistics, data mining, and psychology, but with differences of emphasis. Statistics focuses on understanding the phenomena that have generated the data, often with the goal of testing different hypotheses about those phenomena. Data mining seeks to find patterns in the data that are understandable by people. Psychological studies of human learning aspire to understand the mechanisms underlying the various learning behaviors exhibited by people (concept learning, skill acquisition, strategy change, etc.).

13,246 citations

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TL;DR: A survey of the literature to date of Monte Carlo tree search, intended to provide a snapshot of the state of the art after the first five years of MCTS research, outlines the core algorithm's derivation, impart some structure on the many variations and enhancements that have been proposed, and summarizes the results from the key game and nongame domains.

Abstract: Monte Carlo tree search (MCTS) is a recently proposed search method that combines the precision of tree search with the generality of random sampling. It has received considerable interest due to its spectacular success in the difficult problem of computer Go, but has also proved beneficial in a range of other domains. This paper is a survey of the literature to date, intended to provide a snapshot of the state of the art after the first five years of MCTS research. We outline the core algorithm's derivation, impart some structure on the many variations and enhancements that have been proposed, and summarize the results from the key game and nongame domains to which MCTS methods have been applied. A number of open research questions indicate that the field is ripe for future work.

2,682 citations

01 Jan 1979

TL;DR: This special issue aims at gathering the recent advances in learning with shared information methods and their applications in computer vision and multimedia analysis and addressing interesting real-world computer Vision and multimedia applications.

Abstract: In the real world, a realistic setting for computer vision or multimedia recognition problems is that we have some classes containing lots of training data and many classes contain a small amount of training data. Therefore, how to use frequent classes to help learning rare classes for which it is harder to collect the training data is an open question. Learning with Shared Information is an emerging topic in machine learning, computer vision and multimedia analysis. There are different level of components that can be shared during concept modeling and machine learning stages, such as sharing generic object parts, sharing attributes, sharing transformations, sharing regularization parameters and sharing training examples, etc. Regarding the specific methods, multi-task learning, transfer learning and deep learning can be seen as using different strategies to share information. These learning with shared information methods are very effective in solving real-world large-scale problems. This special issue aims at gathering the recent advances in learning with shared information methods and their applications in computer vision and multimedia analysis. Both state-of-the-art works, as well as literature reviews, are welcome for submission. Papers addressing interesting real-world computer vision and multimedia applications are especially encouraged. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: • Multi-task learning or transfer learning for large-scale computer vision and multimedia analysis • Deep learning for large-scale computer vision and multimedia analysis • Multi-modal approach for large-scale computer vision and multimedia analysis • Different sharing strategies, e.g., sharing generic object parts, sharing attributes, sharing transformations, sharing regularization parameters and sharing training examples, • Real-world computer vision and multimedia applications based on learning with shared information, e.g., event detection, object recognition, object detection, action recognition, human head pose estimation, object tracking, location-based services, semantic indexing. • New datasets and metrics to evaluate the benefit of the proposed sharing ability for the specific computer vision or multimedia problem. • Survey papers regarding the topic of learning with shared information. Authors who are unsure whether their planned submission is in scope may contact the guest editors prior to the submission deadline with an abstract, in order to receive feedback.

1,758 citations

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TL;DR: Computer and Robot Vision Vol.

Abstract: Computer and Robot Vision Vol. 1, by R.M. Haralick and Linda G. Shapiro, Addison-Wesley, 1992, ISBN 0-201-10887-1.

1,426 citations

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TL;DR: This survey overviews the definitions and methods for graph clustering, that is, finding sets of ''related'' vertices in graphs, and presents global algorithms for producing a clustering for the entire vertex set of an input graph.

Abstract: In this survey we overview the definitions and methods for graph clustering, that is, finding sets of ''related'' vertices in graphs. We review the many definitions for what is a cluster in a graph and measures of cluster quality. Then we present global algorithms for producing a clustering for the entire vertex set of an input graph, after which we discuss the task of identifying a cluster for a specific seed vertex by local computation. Some ideas on the application areas of graph clustering algorithms are given. We also address the problematics of evaluating clusterings and benchmarking cluster algorithms.

1,329 citations