Exercise 5.2

Consider the problem of solving two 8-puzzles.

  1. Give a complete problem formulation in the style of Chapter search-chapter.

  2. How large is the reachable state space? Give an exact numerical expression.

  3. Suppose we make the problem adversarial as follows: the two players take turns moving; a coin is flipped to determine the puzzle on which to make a move in that turn; and the winner is the first to solve one puzzle. Which algorithm can be used to choose a move in this setting?

  4. Does the game eventually end, given optimal play? Explain.

Figure [pursuit-evasion-game-figure] (a) A map where the cost of every edge is 1. Initially the pursuer $P$ is at node b and the evader $E$ is at node d (b) A partial game tree for this map. Each node is labeled with the $P,E$ positions. $P$ moves first. Branches marked "?" have yet to be explored.


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