Meeting a deadline: shortest paths on stochastic directed acyclic graphs with information gathering

Mikko Lauri, Aino Ropponen, Risto Ritala

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    We consider the problem of an agent traversing a directed graph with the objective of maximizing the probability of reaching a goal node before a given deadline. Only the probability of the travel times of edges is known to the agent. The agent must balance between traversal actions towards the goal, and delays due to actions improving information about graph edge travel times. We describe the relationship of the problem to the more general partially observable Markov decision process. Further, we show that if edge travel times are independent and the underlying directed graph is acyclic, a closed loop solution can be computed. The solution specifies whether to execute a traversal or information-gathering action as a function of the current node, the time remaining until the deadline, and the information about edge travel times. We present results from two case studies, quantifying the usefulness of information-gathering as opposed to applying only traversal actions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)337–370
    Number of pages34
    JournalAnnals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence
    Issue number4
    Early online date28 Sep 2016
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Applied probability
    • Decision processes
    • Dynamic programming
    • Markov processes
    • Transportation

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Applied Mathematics


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