Date: Nov 30, 2004 2:25 PM
Author: Keith A. Lewis
Subject: Re: finite maze solving algorithm

Kevin Saff <news@kevin.saff.net> writes in article <I808DL.GF2@news.boeing.com> dated Tue, 30 Nov 2004 18:22:32 GMT:

>Michael Michalchik wrote:

>> I was wondering if anyone knows if all possible topologies of finite

>> 2d mazes can be solved by a finite algorithm. For example, we know

>> that all fully connected mazes can be solved by picking a wall and

>> exhaustively following it. Can a general solution work for all mazes

>> including the ones that are piecewise disconnected? If this is

>> possible, is the general solution a solved problem?

>

>Interesting. How are you defining a maze, here? Usually, I think of a

>maze as just a graph, which you can solve using something simple like

>depth-first search, regardless of whether it is planar. It is probably

>better to think in terms of connectedness of rooms than connectedness of

>walls.

The basic problem with a depth-first search is the chance you'll get into a

loop going around and around a disconnected piece. The problem can be

avoided by making a rule to never cross your own path.

Or is there something more that I'm missing?

--Keith Lewis klewis {at} mitre.org

The above may not (yet) represent the opinions of my employer.