State space

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

In the theory of discrete dynamical systems, a state space is the set of values which the process can take. For example, a system in queueing theory a process recording the number of customers in a line would have state space {0, 1, 2, 3, ...}.

In a computer program, when the effective state space[clarification needed] is small compared to all reachable states, this is referred to as clumping.[examples needed] Software such as LURCH analyzes such situations.

In games, the state space is all possible configurations within the game. For instance, in backgammon, it's all the possible positions in which the 30 pieces can be placed, whether on the board, on the bar or in the bear-off tray. Within this state space there are is the subset of positions which are valid according to the rules of backgammon. A game's total state space is often readily calculated whereas the subset of valid positions may be a considerable challenge. The size of a game's state space is related to its complexity.

State space search explores a state space.

See also[edit]