All computer scientists should know how to find their way. But not all researchers name this task the same. Pathfinding is a good example of a problem that takes many different shapes depending on why answers the question.
A critical step in problem solving is finding how to think about the problem at hand. This means finding the correct abstraction — and naming it right. I usually start my projects by mapping all the related concepts. As one of my university teachers1 explained:
One way to succeed is to be the last to rediscover a powerful idea. The solution to your issue certainly hides in a PhD thesis somewhere.
How do we go from
B? Many problems can be framed as pathfinding, and different frameworks of thought will be useful depending on the application:
In this blog posts series, our goal will be to describe the problems faced by those who study particular flavors of pathfinding, as well as insightful algorithms.
This series is still a work in progress.
Nikos, of course. ↩︎