Run-Time Analysis of Classical Path-Planning Algorithms

  • Pablo MuñozEmail author
  • David F. Barrero
  • María D. R-Moreno
Conference paper


Run-time analysis is a type of empirical tool that studies the time consumed by running an algorithm. This type of analysis has been successfully used in some Artificial Intelligence (AI) fields, in paticular in Metaheuristics. This paper is an attempt to bring this tool to the path-planning community. In particular, we analyse the statistical properties of the run-time of the A*, Theta* and S-Theta* algorithms with a variety of problems of different degrees of complexity. Traditionally, the path-planning literature has compared run-times just comparing their mean values. This practice, which unfortunately is quite common in the literature, raises serious concerns from a methodological and statistical point of view. Simple mean comparison provides poorly supported conclusions, and, in general, it can be said that this practice should be avoided.

After our analysis, we conclude that the time required by these three algorithms follows a lognormal distribution. In low complexity problems, the lognormal distribution looses some accuracy to describe the algorithm run-times. The lognormality of the run-times opens the use of powerful parametric statistics to compare execution times, which could lead to stronger empirical methods.


Mobile Robot Lognormal Distribution Path Planning Problem Hardness Timetabling Problem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo Muñoz
    • 1
    Email author
  • David F. Barrero
    • 1
  • María D. R-Moreno
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de AutomáticaUniversidad de AlcaláMadridSpain

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