## Abstract

We consider a search problem on a 2-dimensional infinite grid with a single mobile agent. The goal of the agent is to find her way home, which is located in a grid cell chosen by an adversary. Initially, the agent is provided with an infinite sequence of instructions, that dictate the movements performed by the agent. Each instruction corresponds to a movement to an adjacent grid cell and the set of instructions can be a function of the initial locations of the agent and home. The challenge of our problem stems from faults in the movements made by the agent. In every step, with some constant probability 0

This paper provides two results on this problem. First, we show that for some values of p, there does not exist any set of instructions that guide the agent home in finite expected time. Second, we complement this impossibility result with an algorithm that, for sufficiently small values of p, yields a finite expected hitting time for home. In particular, we show that for any p <1, our approach gives a hitting rate that decays polynomially as a function of time. In that sense, our approach is far superior to a standard random walk in terms of hitting time. The main contribution and take-home message of this paper is to show that, for some value of 0.01139... <p <0.6554..., there exists a phase transition on the solvability of the problem.

Original language | English |
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Title of host publication | Proceedings of the Thirty-First Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete AlgorithmsJanuary 2020 |

Publisher | Curran Associates, Inc. |

Pages | 1170-1179 |

Number of pages | 10 |

ISBN (Print) | 9781713807384 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - Jan 2020 |

MoE publication type | A4 Article in a conference publication |

Event | ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms - Salt Lake City, United States Duration: 5 Jan 2020 → 8 Jan 2020 Conference number: 31 |

### Conference

Conference | ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms |
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Abbreviated title | SODA |

Country/Territory | United States |

City | Salt Lake City |

Period | 05/01/2020 → 08/01/2020 |