A. Nash and S. Koenig. Any-Angle Path Planning. Artificial Intelligence Magazine, 34, (4), 85-107, 2013.

Abstract: In robotics and video games, one often discretizes continuous terrain into a grid with blocked and unblocked grid cells and then uses path-planning algorithms to find a shortest path on the resulting grid graph. This path, however, is typically not a shortest path in the continuous terrain. In this overview article, we discuss a path-planning methodology for quickly finding paths in continuous terrain that are typically shorter than shortest grid paths. Any-angle path-planning algorithms are variants of the heuristic path-planning algorithm A* that find short paths by propagating information along grid edges (like A*, to be fast) without constraining the resulting paths to grid edges (unlike A*, to find short paths).

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