This approach grows a search tree that is biased to explore as much new territory as possible in each iteration [688,687]. There are two modes, SEARCH and EXPLORE, which alternate over successive iterations. In the EXPLORE mode, the VSM selects a vertex, , at random, and the LPM finds a new configuration that can be easily connected to and is as far as possible from the other vertices in . A global optimization function that aggregates the distances to other vertices is optimized using a genetic algorithm. In the SEARCH mode, an attempt is made to extend the vertex added in the EXPLORE mode to the goal configuration. The key idea from this approach, which influenced both the next approach and the methods in Section 5.5, is that some of the time must be spent exploring the space, as opposed to focusing on finding the solution. The greedy behavior of the randomized potential field led to some efficiency but was also its downfall for some problems because it was all based on escaping local minima with respect to the goal instead of investing time on global exploration. One disadvantage of Ariadne's Clew algorithm is that it is very difficult to solve the optimization problem for placing a new vertex in the EXPLORE mode. Genetic algorithms were used in [687], which are generally avoided for motion planning because of the required problem-specific parameter tuning.

Steven M LaValle 2012-04-20