A generic A* pathfinding algorithm for Go
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A* Pathfinding in Go

This is a simple A* pathfinding solution for Go.


go get github.com/massung/pathfind


import "github.com/massung/pathfind"


The pathfind package works by having your data structure implement the Graph interface, which is comprised of two functions:

type Graph interface {
	Neighbors(chan Edge, Node)
	H(Node, Node) float32

The first of these is a function that - given a channel and a Node (an interface{}) - will send a list of Edge values that represent neighboring nodes that can be traversed to the channel and then close it.

The second is a heuristic function. Given a from Node and a goal Node, the H function should return an approximate cost to traverse that are.

Once you have implemented these two functions, then you should be able to call the Search function and get back a list of Node values that comprise the optimal path to take.

Example (a 2D Map)

Since many times A* pathfinding is used for 2D games, this will be an example of using the pathfind module for walking a 2D map.

// the world will be our node graph
type World struct {
	Tiles [10][10]Tile

// a simple definition for a node in the graph
type Tile struct {
	X, Y int
	Cost float32

// create a simple heuristic to estimate the cost from A to B
func (w *World) H(from, goal pathfind.Node) float32 {
	dx := goal.(*Tile).X - from.(*Tile).X
	dy := goal.(*Tile).Y - from.(*Tile).Y
	// distance squared...
	return float32(dx * dx + dy * dy)

// write all the edges to a channel
func (w *World) Neighbors(ns chan pathfind.Edge, node pathfind.Node) {
	edges := make([]pathfind.Edge, 0, 8)
	tile := node.(*Tile)
	// look in the 4 cardinal directions...
	if tile.X > 0 { 
		ns <- pathfind.Edge{
			Node: &w.Tiles[tile.X - 1][tile.Y],
			Cost: w.Tiles[tile.X - 1][tile.Y].Cost,
	/* TODO: look at the other 3 directions as well... */
	close ns

Now that we have our basic node graph, node definition, a heuristic function, and a function that can return a list of neighbors for any given "node" on the graph, we can now perform simple searches.

// get a starting and ending node for the path
start := &world.Tile[0][0]
goal := &world.Tile[9][9]

// perform the search...
path, found := pathfind.Search(world, start, goal)

// make sure there was a path found
if found {
	for _, node := range path {
		tile := node.(*Tile)
		/* TODO: traverse each tile in the world... */