Say Not "Complexity"
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(First post, bear with me.. find the site very interesting :)
I do agree!
But actually I would model the problem with what is known in some circles as a closed-loop controller, and specifically with a POMDP. Then apply RealTime Dynamic Prog. by embedding an heuristic without having to visit all the states in order to compute the rough but optimal h*.
Another way could be done by means of a graphical model, and more specifically a DAG would be quite nicely suited to the problem. Apply a simulated annealing approach (Ising model!) and when you reach "thermal equilibrium" by having minimized some energy functional you get the solution. Obviously this approach would involve learning the parameters of the model, instead of modelling the problem as in my first proposed approach.
Quite geeky, excuse me!