Paper by Martin L. Demaine
- Erik D. Demaine, Martin L. Demaine, Michael Hoffmann, and Joseph O'Rourke, “Pushing Blocks is Hard”, Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications, volume 26, number 1, August 2003, pages 21–36. Special issue of selected papers from the 13th Canadian Conference on Computational Geometry, 2001.
We prove NP-hardness of a wide class of pushing-block puzzles similar to the
classic Sokoban, generalizing several previous results [5,6,9,10,15,17]. The
puzzles consist of unit square blocks on an integer lattice; all blocks are
movable. The robot may move horizontally and vertically in order to reach a
specified goal position. The puzzle variants differ in the number of blocks
that the robot can push at once, ranging from at most one
(PUSH-1) up to arbitrarily many
*). Other variations were introduced to make
puzzles more tractable, in which blocks must slide their maximal extent when
pushed (PUSHPUSH), and in which the robot's path
must not revisit itself (PUSH-
X). We prove that
all of these puzzles are NP-hard.
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- Pushing Blocks (Erik Demaine)
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