SSS* is a search algorithm, introduced by Stockman in 1979, that conducts a state space search traversing a game tree in a best-first fashion similar to that of the A* search algorithm.

SSS* is based on the notion of solution trees. Informally, a solution tree can be formed from any arbitrary game tree by pruning the number of branches at each MAX node to one. Such a tree represents a complete strategy for MAX, since it specifies exactly one MAX action for every possible sequence of moves might be made by the opponent. Given a game tree, SSS* searches through the space of partial solution trees, gradually analyzing larger and larger subtrees, eventually producing a single solution tree with the same root and Minimax value as . SSS* never examines a node that alpha-beta pruning would prune, and may prune some branches that alpha-beta would not. Stockman speculated that SSS* may therefore be a better general algorithm than alpha-beta. However, Steve Rozen and Judea Pearl have shown that the savings in the number of positions that SSS* evaluates relative to alpha/beta is limited and generally not enough to compensate for the increase in other resources (e.g., the storing and sorting of a list of nodes made necessary by the best-first nature of the algorithm).

External links

* [ George Stockman's website]

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