Infinite linear programming and online searching with turn cost

Spyros Angelopoulos, Diogo Arsénio, Christoph Dürr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider the problem of searching for a hidden target in an environment that consists of a set of concurrent rays. Every time the searcher turns direction, it incurs a fixed cost. The objective is to derive a search strategy for locating the target as efficiently as possible, and the performance of the strategy is evaluated by means of the well-established competitive ratio. In this paper we revisit an approach due to Demaine et al. [8] based on infinite linear-programming formulations of this problem. We first demonstrate that their definition of duality in infinite LPs can lead to erroneous results. We then provide a non-trivial correction which establishes the optimality of a certain round-robin search strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-22
Number of pages12
JournalTheoretical Computer Science
StatePublished - Mar 29 2017


  • Competitive analysis of online algorithms
  • Infinite linear programming
  • Search and exploration problems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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