Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hansen, Eric

Committee Member

Bethel, Cindy L.

Committee Member

Eksioglu, Burak

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


A stochastic shortest path (SSP) problem is an undiscounted Markov decision process with an absorbing and zero-cost target state, where the objective is to reach the target state with minimum expected cost. This problem provides a foundation for algorithms for decision-theoretic planning and probabilistic model checking, among other applications. This thesis describes an implementation and evaluation of recently developed error bounds for SSP problems. The bounds can be used in a test for convergence of iterative dynamic programming algorithms for solving SSP problems, as well as in action elimination procedures that can accelerate convergence by excluding provably suboptimal actions that do not need to be re-evaluated each iteration. The techniques are shown to be effective for both decision-theoretic planning and probabilistic model checking.