Hill Climbing Home Page


When the applet is loaded, it shows the hill as a back ground and it also has a button for each of problems talked above. By clicking the respective button, the applet shows the search path that will be taken for each of the above mentioned problems. The search path is represented by a red line. This red line is obtained by joining all the solution states taken during the search. The blue lines show possible solution states around the current state. The green line indicates the best state obtained at each search point. The green circle at the top of the hill indicates the actual goal state that is to reached. The start and stop buttons are for starting and stopping the search. This applet helps the user to visualize and thus understand the hill climbing search technique and also understand the various problems faced by hill climbing search technique.

Foothills or local maxima is a state that is better than all its neighbours but is not better than some other states farther away. At a local maximum, all moves appear to make things worse. Foothills are potential traps for the algorithm.

A plateau is a flat area of the search space in which a whole set of neighbouring states have the same value. On a plateau, it i not possible to determine the best direction in which to move by making local comparisons.

A ridge is a special kind of local maximum. It is an area of the search space that is higher that the surrounding areas and that itself has a slope. But the orientation of the high region, compared to the set of available moves and the directions in which they move, makes it impossible to traverse a ridge by single moves. Any point on a ridge can look like peak because movement in all probe directions is downward.

Resources used for this visualization

Students taking the NDSU CS 724 course do not need to understand the internals of the visualization operation. These links are to help if you are interested in the internals of the visualization process. They also should help if you want to use these visualizations in other environment.

The files used for this system are as follows: