Stochastic Shortest-Path Search Task

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A Stochastic Shortest-Path Search Task is a shortest-path search task that ...



  • (Wikipedia, 2019) ⇒ Retrieved:2019-2-25.
    • In real-life situations, the transportation network is usually stochastic and time-dependent. In fact, a traveler traversing a link daily may experiences different travel times on that link due not only to the fluctuations in travel demand (origin-destination matrix) but also due to such incidents as work zones, bad weather conditions, accidents and vehicle breakdowns. As a result, a stochastic time-dependent (STD) network is a more realistic representation of an actual road network compared with the deterministic one. [1] Despite considerable progress during the course of the past decade, it remains a controversial question how an optimal path should be defined and identified in stochastic road networks. In other words, there is no unique definition of an optimal path under uncertainty. One possible and common answer to this question is to find a path with the minimum expected travel time. The main advantage of using this approach is that efficient shortest path algorithms introduced for the deterministic networks can be readily employed to identify the path with the minimum expected travel time in a stochastic network. However, the resulting optimal path identified by this approach may not be reliable, because this approach fails to address travel time variability. To tackle this issue some researchers use distribution of travel time instead of expected value of it so they find the probability distribution of total travelling time using different optimization methods such as dynamic programming and Dijkstra's algorithm . These methods use stochastic optimization, specifically stochastic dynamic programming to find the shortest path in networks with probabilistic arc length. It should be noted that the concept of travel time reliability is used interchangeably with travel time variability in the transportation research literature, so that, in general, one can say that the higher the variability in travel time, the lower the reliability would be, and vice versa.

      In order to account for travel time reliability more accurately, two common alternative definitions for an optimal path under uncertainty have been suggested. Some have introduced the concept of the most reliable path, aiming to maximize the probability of arriving on time or earlier than a given travel time budget. Others, alternatively, have put forward the concept of an α-reliable path based on which they intended to minimize the travel time budget required to ensure a pre-specified on-time arrival probability.

  1. Loui, R.P., 1983. Optimal paths in graphs with stochastic or multidimensional weights. Communications of the ACM, 26(9), pp.670-676.


  • (Randour et al., 2015) ⇒ Mickael Randour, Jean-François Raskin, and Ocan Sankur. (2015). “Variations on the Stochastic Shortest Path Problem.” In: International Workshop on Verification, Model Checking, and Abstract Interpretation, pp. 1-18 . Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg,
    • ABSTRACT: In this invited contribution, we revisit the stochastic shortest path problem, and show how recent results allow one to improve over the classical solutions: we present algorithms to synthesize strategies with multiple guarantees on the distribution of the length of paths reaching a given target, rather than simply minimizing its expected value. The concepts and algorithms that we propose here are applications of more general results that have been obtained recently for Markov decision processes and that are described in a series of recent papers.