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The Value of Side Information in Shortest Path Optimization

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2 Author(s)
Rinehart, M. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Massachusetts Inst. of Technol., Cambridge, MA, USA ; Dahleh, M.A.

Consider an agent who seeks to traverse the shortest path in a graph having random edge weights. If the agent has no side information about the realizations of the edge weights, it should simply take the path of least average length. We consider a generalization of this framework whereby the agent has access to a limited amount of side information about the edge weights ahead of choosing a path. We define a measure for information quantity, provide bounds on the agent's performance relative to the amount of side information it receives, and present algorithms for optimizing side information. The results are based on a new graph characterization tied to shortest path optimization.

Published in:

Automatic Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 9 )

Date of Publication:

Sept. 2011

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