what do you want to know about pathfinding?

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what do you want to know about pathfinding? Empty what do you want to know about pathfinding?

Post by LOOK IT'S ADAM!!! on 5/6/2010, 17:04

i'm doing a paper for my technical writing class about various path-finding algorithms in varying situations. the thing is, what is common knowledge to me might go completely over the heads of some people, i need some help figuring out what to cover. what are some of the things you want to know about it? what do you not understand about it?
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Post by ninji on 5/6/2010, 18:43

Oh... well, I know so little, I don't even know what to ask....

Does it involve probability?
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Post by LOOK IT'S ADAM!!! on 5/6/2010, 18:49

it can if you're using a genetic blind search.
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Post by LOOK IT'S ADAM!!! on 5/6/2010, 18:51

actually, let me post a bit of what i already have, if i need to go into greater detail on anything, let me know:


Basic overview of pathfinding details:
In order to understand much of the following content, an intermediate to advanced knowledge of computer operations and data structures is required. This section will cover the basics

1. Memory

Memory, often referred to as RAM, is a piece of hardware that acts as a workspace for computers. It is a rapidly accessible storage for temporary data. The typical hard drive cannot keep up with the demands of most applications because of the time it takes to read and write data. Memory, while faster in the transfer process, is more expensive and requires power for the information to remain intact.

Currently, memory is measured mainly by its capacity for information. The average consumer system has around 3 gigabytes of storage.
What does this mean in the context of path finding? The computer can only work with as much data as it has space for. Many methods of generating paths consume enormous amounts of data, making that particular method impractical in many situations.

2. Nodes, trees, and graphs

A computer can only deal with binary information; this is not practical for most humans. Nodes serve as a way of representing data in more user-friendly manner. Nodes are represented as a circle, usually empty.

When multiple nodes are linked together, they are referred to as a tree or graph. An increasingly large amount of information can be added to each node. As the case below demonstrates, a node system is far preferable to a simple list of information.

Nodes are typically handled in an object oriented programming (OOP) situation, where memory handling is much more dynamic and predefined data types make handling this information easier.

3. Speed

Speed in consumer computer systems is often measured in gigahertz. In programming, one “hertz” is one operation. That being said, in order for a computer to multiply two numbers together, it must take many steps. The number of steps is determined by the type of processor and operating system being used. A gigaflop is a more consistent rating of speed. Instead of measuring the amount of operations a system carries out in a period of time, it measures how much was done with that data.

The “flop” part of gigaflop stands for “FLOating Point operations”. A floating point number is any real number; this includes decimals and negative values.

Depending on the method, the amount of calculations made by each successive step in a path finding algorithm grows at an exponential rate. While a supercomputer may be able to handle such a load, most other systems cannot.
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Post by Lord Zurkov on 5/6/2010, 18:52

I know what it does and not much more; I've never bothered to look into how it works.

When it comes to technical reports, I usually use Wikipedia as a baseline -- if it mentions any bit on information on Wikipedia, assume that people know about it (or, more accurately, can easily learn about it).


Last edited by Lord Zurkov on 5/6/2010, 18:57; edited 1 time in total
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Post by LOOK IT'S ADAM!!! on 5/6/2010, 18:55

the people that post stuff on wikipedia are typically knowledgeable about the subject. my professor got his doctorate in english without even touching a computer, i want him to be able to at least understand some of what i am saying.
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