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Valued constraint satisfaction problems: Hard and easy problems
 IJCAI’95: Proceedings International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence
, 1995
"... tschiexOtoulouse.inra.fr fargierOirit.fr verfailOcert.fr In order to deal with overconstrained Constraint Satisfaction Problems, various extensions of the CSP framework have been considered by taking into account costs, uncertainties, preferences, priorities...Each extension uses a specific mathema ..."
Abstract

Cited by 284 (41 self)
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tschiexOtoulouse.inra.fr fargierOirit.fr verfailOcert.fr In order to deal with overconstrained Constraint Satisfaction Problems, various extensions of the CSP framework have been considered by taking into account costs, uncertainties, preferences, priorities...Each extension uses a specific mathematical operator (+, max...) to aggregate constraint violations. In this paper, we consider a simple algebraic framework, related to Partial Constraint Satisfaction, which subsumes most of these proposals and use it to characterize existing proposals in terms of rationality and computational complexity. We exhibit simple relationships between these proposals, try to
SemiringBased Constraint Satisfaction and Optimization
 JOURNAL OF THE ACM
, 1997
"... We introduce a general framework for constraint satisfaction and optimization where classical CSPs, fuzzy CSPs, weighted CSPs, partial constraint satisfaction, and others can be easily cast. The framework is based on a semiring structure, where the set of the semiring specifies the values to be asso ..."
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Cited by 159 (20 self)
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We introduce a general framework for constraint satisfaction and optimization where classical CSPs, fuzzy CSPs, weighted CSPs, partial constraint satisfaction, and others can be easily cast. The framework is based on a semiring structure, where the set of the semiring specifies the values to be associated with each tuple of values of the variable domain, and the two semiring operations (1 and 3) model constraint projection and combination respectively. Local consistency algorithms, as usually used for classical CSPs, can be exploited in this general framework as well, provided that certain conditions on the semiring operations are satisfied. We then show how this framework can be used to model both old and new constraint solving and optimization schemes, thus allowing one to both formally justify many informally taken choices in existing schemes, and to prove that local consistency techniques can be used also in newly defined schemes.
Semiringbased CSPs and Valued CSPs: Frameworks, Properties, and Comparison
 Constraints
, 1999
"... In this paper we describe and compare two frameworks for constraint solving where classical CSPs, fuzzy CSPs, weighted CSPs, partial constraint satisfaction, and others can be easily cast. One is based on a semiring, and the other one on a totally ordered commutative monoid. While comparing the two ..."
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Cited by 99 (27 self)
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In this paper we describe and compare two frameworks for constraint solving where classical CSPs, fuzzy CSPs, weighted CSPs, partial constraint satisfaction, and others can be easily cast. One is based on a semiring, and the other one on a totally ordered commutative monoid. While comparing the two approaches, we show how to pass from one to the other one, and we discuss when this is possible. The two frameworks have been independently introduced in [2], [3] and [35].
Constraint Solving over Semirings
 in IJCAI
, 1995
"... We introduce a general framework for constraint solving where classical CSPs, fuzzy CSPs, weighted CSPs, partial constraint satisfaction, and others can be easily cast. The framework is based on a semiring structure, where the set of the semiring specifies the values to be associated to each tuple o ..."
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Cited by 98 (36 self)
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We introduce a general framework for constraint solving where classical CSPs, fuzzy CSPs, weighted CSPs, partial constraint satisfaction, and others can be easily cast. The framework is based on a semiring structure, where the set of the semiring specifies the values to be associated to each tuple of values of the variable domain, and the two semiring operations (+ and x) model constraint projection and combination respectively. Local consistency algorithms, as usually used for classical CSPs, can be exploited in this general framework as well, provided that some conditions on the semiring operations are satisfied. We then show how this framework can be used to model both old and new constraint solving schemes, thus allowing one both to formally justify many informally taken choices in existing schemes, and to prove that the local consistency techniques can be used also in newly defined schemes. 1
Arc Consistency for Soft Constraints
 Artificial Intelligence
"... . Traditionally, local consistency is dened as a relaxation of consistency which can be checked in polynomial time. It is accompanied by a corresponding \ltering" or \enforcing" algorithm that computes in polynomial time, and from any given CSP, an equivalent unique CSP which satises the local c ..."
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Cited by 91 (24 self)
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. Traditionally, local consistency is dened as a relaxation of consistency which can be checked in polynomial time. It is accompanied by a corresponding \ltering" or \enforcing" algorithm that computes in polynomial time, and from any given CSP, an equivalent unique CSP which satises the local consistency property. The question whether the notion of local consistency can be extended to soft constraint frameworks has been addressed by several papers, in several settings [4, 14, 12]. The main positive conclusion of these works is that the notion of local consistency can be extended to soft constraints frameworks which rely on an idempotent violation combination operator. However, the question whether this can be done for non idempotent operators as eg, in the MaxCSP problem, is not clear and has lead to several dierent notions of arc consistency [14, 16, 1, 11, 10]. Each of these proposals lacks several of the original properties of local consistency. In this paper, we...
Possibility theory in constraint satisfaction problems: Handling priority, preference and uncertainty
 Applied Intelligence
, 1996
"... In classical Constraint Satisfaction Problems (CSPs) knowledge is embedded in a set of hard constraints, each one restricting the possible values of a set of variables. However constraints in real world problems are seldom hard, and CSP's are often idealizations that do not account for the preferenc ..."
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Cited by 75 (14 self)
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In classical Constraint Satisfaction Problems (CSPs) knowledge is embedded in a set of hard constraints, each one restricting the possible values of a set of variables. However constraints in real world problems are seldom hard, and CSP's are often idealizations that do not account for the preference among feasible solutions. Moreover some constraints may have priority over others. Lastly, constraints may involve uncertain parameters. This paper advocates the use of fuzzy sets and possibility theory as a realistic approach for the representation of these three aspects. Fuzzy constraints encompass both preference relations among possible instanciations and priorities among constraints. In a Fuzzy Constraint Satisfaction Problem (FCSP), a constraint is satisfied to a degree (rather than satisfied or not satisfied) and the acceptability of a potential solution becomes a gradual notion. Even if the FCSP is partially inconsistent, best instanciations are provided owing to the relaxation of ...
Stochastic Constraint Programming
, 2000
"... To model decision problems involving uncertainty and probability, we propose stochastic constraint programming. Stochastic constraint programs contain both decision variables (which we can set) and stochastic variables (which follow some probability distribution), and combine together the best ..."
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Cited by 55 (8 self)
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To model decision problems involving uncertainty and probability, we propose stochastic constraint programming. Stochastic constraint programs contain both decision variables (which we can set) and stochastic variables (which follow some probability distribution), and combine together the best features of traditional constraint satisfaction, stochastic integer programming, and stochastic satisfiability. We give a semantics for stochastic constraint programs, and propose a number of complete algorithms and approximation procedures. Using these algorithms, we observe phase transition behavior in stochastic constraint programs. Interestingly, the cost of both optimization and satisfaction peaks in the satisfaction phase boundary. Finally, we discuss a number of extensions of stochastic constraint programming to relax various assumptions like the independence between stochastic variables. Introduction Many real world decision problems contain uncertainty. Data about event...
Preferencebased Constrained Optimization with CPnets
 Computational Intelligence
, 2001
"... Many AI tasks, such as product configuration, decision support, and the construction of autonomous agents, involve a process of constrained optimization, that is, optimization of behavior or choices subject to given constraints. In this paper we present an approach for constrained optimization based ..."
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Cited by 55 (11 self)
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Many AI tasks, such as product configuration, decision support, and the construction of autonomous agents, involve a process of constrained optimization, that is, optimization of behavior or choices subject to given constraints. In this paper we present an approach for constrained optimization based on a set of hard constraints and a preference ordering represented using a CPnetwork  a graphical model for representing qualitative preference information. This approach offers both pragmatic and computational advantages. First, it provides a convenient and intuitive tool for specifying the problem, and in particular, the decision maker's preferences. Second, it provides an algorithm for finding the most preferred feasible outcomes that has the following anytime property: the set of preferred feasible outcomes are enumerated without backtracking. In particular, the first feasible solution generated by this algorithm is optimal.
Introducing Variable Importance Tradeoffs into CPNets
 In Proceedings of UAI02
"... courses of action is a cornerstone of many AI applications, and usually this requires explicit information about the decisionmaker's preferences. ..."
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Cited by 53 (11 self)
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courses of action is a cornerstone of many AI applications, and usually this requires explicit information about the decisionmaker's preferences.
Soft Concurrent Constraint Programming
, 2001
"... . Soft constraints extend classical constraints to represent multiple consistency levels, and thus provide a way to express preferences, fuzziness, and uncertainty. While there are many soft constraint solving algorithms, even distributed ones, by now there seems to be no concurrent programming fram ..."
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Cited by 51 (32 self)
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. Soft constraints extend classical constraints to represent multiple consistency levels, and thus provide a way to express preferences, fuzziness, and uncertainty. While there are many soft constraint solving algorithms, even distributed ones, by now there seems to be no concurrent programming framework where soft constraints can be handled. In this paper we show how the classical concurrent constraint (cc) programming framework can work with soft constraints, and we also propose an extension of cc languages which can use soft constraints to prune and direct the search for a solution. We believe that this new programming paradigm, called soft cc (scc), can be very useful in many webrelated scenarios. In fact, the language level allows web agents to express their interaction and negotiation protocols, and also to post their requests in terms of preferences, and the underlying soft constraint solver can nd an agreement among the agents even if their requests are incompatible. 1