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154
Partial Constraint Satisfaction
, 1992
"... . A constraint satisfaction problem involves finding values for variables subject to constraints on which combinations of values are allowed. In some cases it may be impossible or impractical to solve these problems completely. We may seek to partially solve the problem, in particular by satisfying ..."
Abstract

Cited by 427 (23 self)
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. A constraint satisfaction problem involves finding values for variables subject to constraints on which combinations of values are allowed. In some cases it may be impossible or impractical to solve these problems completely. We may seek to partially solve the problem, in particular by satisfying a maximal number of constraints. Standard backtracking and local consistency techniques for solving constraint satisfaction problems can be adapted to cope with, and take advantage of, the differences between partial and complete constraint satisfaction. Extensive experimentation on maximal satisfaction problems illuminates the relative and absolute effectiveness of these methods. A general model of partial constraint satisfaction is proposed. 1 Introduction Constraint satisfaction involves finding values for problem variables subject to constraints on acceptable combinations of values. Constraint satisfaction has wide application in artificial intelligence, in areas ranging from temporal r...
Arc Consistency for General Constraint Networks: Preliminary Results
, 1997
"... Constraint networks are used more and more to solve combinatorial problems in reallife applications. Much activity is concentrated on improving the efficiency of finding a solution in a constraint network (the constraint satisfaction problem, CSP). Particularly, arc consistency caught many research ..."
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Cited by 127 (15 self)
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Constraint networks are used more and more to solve combinatorial problems in reallife applications. Much activity is concentrated on improving the efficiency of finding a solution in a constraint network (the constraint satisfaction problem, CSP). Particularly, arc consistency caught many researchers' attention, involving the discovery of a large number of algorithms. And, for the last two years, it has been shown that maintaining arc consistency during search is a worthwhile approach. However, results on CSPs and on arc consistency are almost always limited to binary constraint networks. The CSP is no longer an academic problem, and it is time to deal with nonbinary CSPs, as widely required in real world constraint solvers. This paper proposes a general schema to implement arc consistency on constraints of any arity when no specific algorithm is known. A first instantiation of the schema is presented here, which deals with constraints given by a predicate, by the set of forbidden c...
Refining the basic constraint propagation algorithm
 In Proceedings IJCAI’01
, 2001
"... Propagating constraints is the main feature of any constraint solver. This is thus of prime importance to manage constraint propagation as efficiently as possible, justifying the use of the best algorithms. But the ease of integration is also one of the concerns when implementing an algorithm in a c ..."
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Cited by 87 (9 self)
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Propagating constraints is the main feature of any constraint solver. This is thus of prime importance to manage constraint propagation as efficiently as possible, justifying the use of the best algorithms. But the ease of integration is also one of the concerns when implementing an algorithm in a constraint solver. This paper focuses on AC3, which is the simplest arc consistency algorithm known so far. We propose two refinements that preserve as much as possible the ease of integration into a solver (no heavy data structure to be maintained during search), while giving some noticeable improvements in efficiency. One of the proposed refinements is analytically compared to AC6, showing interesting properties, such as optimality of its worstcase time complexity. 1
An Empirical Study of Dynamic Variable Ordering Heuristics for the Constraint Satisfaction Problem
 In Proceedings of CP96
, 1996
"... . The constraint satisfaction community has developed a number of heuristics for variable ordering during backtracking search. For example, in conjunction with algorithms which check forwards, the FailFirst (FF) and Brelaz (Bz) heuristics are cheap to evaluate and are generally considered to be ver ..."
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Cited by 70 (15 self)
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. The constraint satisfaction community has developed a number of heuristics for variable ordering during backtracking search. For example, in conjunction with algorithms which check forwards, the FailFirst (FF) and Brelaz (Bz) heuristics are cheap to evaluate and are generally considered to be very effective. Recent work to understand phase transitions in NPcomplete problem classes enables us to compare such heuristics over a large range of different kinds of problems. Furthermore, we are now able to start to understand the reasons for the success, and therefore also the failure, of heuristics, and to introduce new heuristics which achieve the successes and avoid the failures. In this paper, we present a comparison of the Bz and FF heuristics in forward checking algorithms applied to randomlygenerated binary CSP's. We also introduce new and very general heuristics and present an extensive study of these. These new heuristics are usually as good as or better than Bz and FF, and we id...
On Forward Checking for Nonbinary Constraint Satisfaction
 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
, 1999
"... Solving nonbinary constraint satisfaction problems, a crucial challenge for the next years, can be tackled in two different ways: translating the nonbinary problem into an equivalent binary one, or extending binary search algorithms to solve directly the original problem. The latter option rai ..."
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Cited by 66 (4 self)
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Solving nonbinary constraint satisfaction problems, a crucial challenge for the next years, can be tackled in two different ways: translating the nonbinary problem into an equivalent binary one, or extending binary search algorithms to solve directly the original problem. The latter option raises some issues when we want to extend denitions written for the binary case. This paper focuses on the wellknown forward checking algorithm, and shows that it can be generalized to several nonbinary versions, all tting its binary denition. The classical version, proposed by Van Hentenryck, is only one of these generalizations.
Using Inference to Reduce Arc Consistency Computation
 Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI’95
, 1995
"... Constraint satisfaction problems are widely used in artificial intelligence. They involve finding values for problem variables subject to constraints that specify which combinations of values are consistent. Knowledge about properties of the constraints can permit inferences that reduce the co ..."
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Cited by 65 (12 self)
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Constraint satisfaction problems are widely used in artificial intelligence. They involve finding values for problem variables subject to constraints that specify which combinations of values are consistent. Knowledge about properties of the constraints can permit inferences that reduce the cost of consistency checking. In particular, such inferences can be used to reduce the number of constraint checks required in establishing arc consistency, a fundamental constraintbased reasoning technique. A general ACInference schema is presented and various forms of inference discussed. A specific algorithm, AC7, is presented, which takes advantage of a simple property common to all binary constraints to eliminate constraint checks that other arc consistency algorithms perform. The effectiveness of this approach is demonstrated analytically, and experimentally on realworld problems.
Random constraint satisfaction: Flaws and structure
 Constraints
, 2001
"... 4, and Toby Walsh 5 ..."
Maintaining ArcConsistency within Dynamic Backtracking
 IN PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF CONSTRAINT PROGRAMMING (CP 2000), NUMBER 1894 IN LECTURE NOTES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
, 2000
"... Most of complete search algorithms over Constraint Satisfaction Problems (csp) are based on Standard Backtracking. Two main ..."
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Cited by 59 (14 self)
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Most of complete search algorithms over Constraint Satisfaction Problems (csp) are based on Standard Backtracking. Two main
Using Constraint Metaknowledge to Reduce Arc Consistency Computation
 Artificial Intelligence
, 1999
"... Constraint satisfaction problems are widely used in articial intelligence. They involve nding values for problem variables subject to constraints that specify which combinations of values are consistent. Knowledge about properties of the constraints can permit inferences that reduce the cost of cons ..."
Abstract

Cited by 57 (8 self)
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Constraint satisfaction problems are widely used in articial intelligence. They involve nding values for problem variables subject to constraints that specify which combinations of values are consistent. Knowledge about properties of the constraints can permit inferences that reduce the cost of consistency checking. In particular, such inferences can be used to reduce the number of constraint checks required in establishing arc consistency, a fundamental constraintbased reasoning technique. A general ACInference algorithm schema is presented and various forms of inference discussed. A specific algorithm, AC7, is presented, which takes advantage of a simple property common to all binary constraints to eliminate constraint checks that other arc consistency algorithms perform. The effectiveness of this approach is demonstrated analytically, and experimentally.
Domain Filtering Consistencies
 Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (JAIR)
, 2001
"... Enforcing local consistencies is one of the main features of constraint reasoning. Which level of local consistency should be used when searching for solutions in a constraint network is a basic question. Arc consistency and partial forms of arc consistency have been widely studied, and have been kn ..."
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Cited by 54 (5 self)
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Enforcing local consistencies is one of the main features of constraint reasoning. Which level of local consistency should be used when searching for solutions in a constraint network is a basic question. Arc consistency and partial forms of arc consistency have been widely studied, and have been known for sometime through the forward checking or the MAC search algorithms. Until recently, stronger forms of local consistency remained limited to those that change the structure of the constraint graph, and thus, could not be used in practice, especially on large networks. This paper focuses on the local consistencies that are stronger than arc consistency, without changing the structure of the network, i.e., only removing inconsistent values from the domains. In the last five years, several such local consistencies have been proposed by us or by others. We make an overview of all of them, and highlight some relations between them. We compare them both theoretically and experimentally, considering their pruning efficiency and the time required to enforce them.