From cube-lovers-errors@oolong.camellia.org Thu Jun 5 01:18:40 1997
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Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 00:55:43 -0400
From: michael reid
To: Dik.Winter@cwi.nl, cube-lovers@ai.mit.edu
Subject: Re: More on Korf's method
dik writes
> > But we _can_ say there's at most one chance in 1024 that the first ten
> > random cubes you pick will all be closer than the median to solved.
> > So this demonstrates Rich's claim that the median optimal solution is
> > very likely 18f.
>
> Something I did estimate already a long time ago. I have done a few
> hundred random cubes (a few thousand? I do no longer remember) back
> so many years ago. As I remember, I let the program look for optimal
> solutions upto 18f (longer is a bit time consuming). As I remember,
> there were only very few that could *not* be solved in 18f. There must
> be a discussion about this in the archives.
this is not quite right. i consulted the archives and found dik's
message of august 3, 1993 "Diameter of cube group?" the details are
as follows:
he tested 9000 random cube positions using kociemba's algorithm and
found that they were all within 20 face turns of start. (this took
two months of computer time.) however, he was not so interested in
finding _optimal_ solutions, but instead was satisfied with a maneuver
of length <= 20f.
this seems to be the most fundamental difference between kociemba's
algorithm and korf's method: kociemba is interested in sub-optimal
solutions (optimal solutions are ok, too), whereas korf has no interest
in sub-optimal solutions.
dik says in that message that he generated random cubes by taking
random sequences of 100 face turns, which is the same as korf did.
this is probably adequate randomness; however, i would do things
differently: first generate a random permutation of the edges, then
a random permutation of the corners, with the same parity, then
random flips for the edges and random twists for the corners.
in reality, it probably doesn't make any difference. but i would
choose the latter method as a matter of principle. this is just
my own philosophy. (i think dan hoey recently expressed similar
sentiments.)
mike