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112
A comparison of structural CSP decomposition methods
 Artificial Intelligence
, 2000
"... We compare tractable classes of constraint satisfaction problems (CSPs). We first give a uniform presentation of the major structural CSP decomposition methods. We then introduce a new class of tractable CSPs based on the concept of hypertree decomposition recently developed in Database Theory. We i ..."
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Cited by 149 (17 self)
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We compare tractable classes of constraint satisfaction problems (CSPs). We first give a uniform presentation of the major structural CSP decomposition methods. We then introduce a new class of tractable CSPs based on the concept of hypertree decomposition recently developed in Database Theory. We introduce a framework for comparing parametric decompositionbased methods according to tractability criteria and compare the most relevant methods. We show that the method of hypertree decomposition dominates the others in the case of general (nonbinary) CSPs.
On the algebraic structure of combinatorial problems
 THEORETICAL COMPUTER SCIENCE
, 1998
"... ..."
Constraint Satisfaction Problems And Finite Algebras
, 1999
"... Many natural combinatorial problems can be expressed as constraint satisfaction problems. This class of problems is known to be NPcomplete in general, but certain restrictions on the form of the constraints can ensure tractability. In this paper we show that any restricted set of constraint types c ..."
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Cited by 51 (7 self)
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Many natural combinatorial problems can be expressed as constraint satisfaction problems. This class of problems is known to be NPcomplete in general, but certain restrictions on the form of the constraints can ensure tractability. In this paper we show that any restricted set of constraint types can be associated with a finite universal algebra. We explore how the computational complexity of a restricted constraint satisfaction problem is connected to properties of the corresponding algebra. For this, we introduce a notion of `tractable algebra' and study how the tractability of an algebra relates to the tractability of its smaller derived algebras, including its subalgebras and homomorphic images. This allows us to significantly reduce the types of algebras which need to be investigated. Using these results we exhibit a common structural property of all known intractable constraint satisfaction problems. Finally, we classify all finite strictly simple surjective algebras wit...
Constraints, Consistency, and Closure
 Artificial Intelligence
, 1998
"... Although the constraint satisfaction problem is NPcomplete in general, a number of constraint classes have been identified for which some fixed level of local consistency is sufficient to ensure global consistency. In this paper, we describe a simple algebraic property which characterises all possi ..."
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Cited by 47 (12 self)
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Although the constraint satisfaction problem is NPcomplete in general, a number of constraint classes have been identified for which some fixed level of local consistency is sufficient to ensure global consistency. In this paper, we describe a simple algebraic property which characterises all possible constraint types for which strong kconsistency is sufficient to ensure global consistency, for each k ? 2. We give a number of examples to illustrate the application of this result. 1 Introduction The constraint satisfaction problem provides a framework in which it is possible to express, in a natural way, many combinatorial problems encountered in artificial intelligence and elsewhere. The aim in a constraint satisfaction problem is to find an assignment of values to a given set of variables subject to constraints on the values which can be assigned simultaneously to certain specified subsets of variables. The constraint satisfaction problem is known to be an NPcomplete problem in ge...
A Survey of Tractable Constraint Satisfaction Problems
, 1997
"... In this report we discuss constraint satisfaction problems. These are problems in which values must be assigned to a collection of variables, subject to specified constraints. We focus specifically on problems in which the domain of possible values for each variable is finite. The report surveys the ..."
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Cited by 41 (5 self)
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In this report we discuss constraint satisfaction problems. These are problems in which values must be assigned to a collection of variables, subject to specified constraints. We focus specifically on problems in which the domain of possible values for each variable is finite. The report surveys the various conditions that have been shown to be sufficient to ensure tractability in these problems. These are broken down into three categories: ffl Conditions on the overall structure; ffl Conditions on the nature of the constraints; ffl Conditions on bounded pieces of the problem. 1 Introduction A constraint satisfaction problem is a way of expressing simultaneous requirements for values of variables. The study of constraint satisfaction problems was initiated by Montanari in 1974 [34], when he used them as a way of describing certain combinatorial problems arising in imageprocessing. It was quickly realised that the same general framework was applicable to a much wider class of probl...
The Complexity Of Maximal Constraint Languages
, 2001
"... Many combinatorial search problems can be expressed as "constraint satisfaction problems" using an appropriate "constraint language", that is, a set of relations over some fixed finite set of values. It is wellknown that there is a tradeoff between the expressive power of a constraint language and ..."
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Cited by 35 (8 self)
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Many combinatorial search problems can be expressed as "constraint satisfaction problems" using an appropriate "constraint language", that is, a set of relations over some fixed finite set of values. It is wellknown that there is a tradeoff between the expressive power of a constraint language and the complexity of the problems it can express. In the present paper we systematically study the complexity of all maximal constraint languages, that is, languages whose expressive power is just weaker than that of the language of all constraints. Using the algebraic invariance properties of constraints, we exhibit a strong necessary condition for tractability of such a constraint language. Moreover, we show that, at least for small sets of values, this condition is also sufficient.
Constraint Satisfaction with Countable Homogeneous Templates
 IN PROCEEDINGS OF CSL’03
, 2003
"... For a fixed countable homogeneous structure we study the computational problem whether a given finite structure of the same relational signature homomorphically maps to . This problem is known as the constraint satisfaction problem CSP( ) for and was intensively studied for finite . We show that ..."
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Cited by 33 (15 self)
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For a fixed countable homogeneous structure we study the computational problem whether a given finite structure of the same relational signature homomorphically maps to . This problem is known as the constraint satisfaction problem CSP( ) for and was intensively studied for finite . We show that  as in the case of finite  the computational complexity of CSP( ) for countable homogeneous is determinded by the clone of polymorphisms of . To this end we prove the following theorem which is of independent interest: The primitive positive definable relations over an !categorical structure are precisely the relations that are invariant under the polymorphisms of .
A GameTheoretic Approach to Constraint Satisfaction
, 2000
"... We shed light on the connections between different approaches to constraint satisfaction by showing that the main consistency concepts used to derive tractability results for constraint satisfaction are intimately related to certain combinatorial pebble games, called the existential kpebble g ..."
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Cited by 31 (6 self)
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We shed light on the connections between different approaches to constraint satisfaction by showing that the main consistency concepts used to derive tractability results for constraint satisfaction are intimately related to certain combinatorial pebble games, called the existential kpebble games, that were originally introduced in the context of Datalog. The crucial insight relating pebble games to constraint satisfaction is that the key concept of strong kconsistency is equivalent to a condition on winning strategies for the Duplicator player in the existential kpebble game. We use this insight to show that strong kconsistency can be established if and only if the Duplicator wins the existential kpebble game. Moreover, whenever strong kconsistency can be established, one method for doing this is to first compute the largest winning strategy for the Duplicator in the existential kpebble game and then modify the original problem by augmenting it with the constraints expressed by the largest winning strategy. This basic result makes it possible to establish deeper connections between pebble games, consistency properties, and tractability of constraint satisfaction. In particular, we use existential kpebble games to introduce the concept of klocality and show that it constitutes a new tractable case of constraint satisfaction that properly extends the well known case in which establishing strong kconsistency implies global consistency.
Datalog and constraint satisfaction with infinite templates
 In Proceedings of the 23rd International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science (STACS’06), LNCS 3884
, 2006
"... Abstract. On finite structures, there is a wellknown connection between the expressive power of Datalog, finite variable logics, the existential pebble game, and bounded hypertree duality. We study this connection for infinite structures. This has applications for constraint satisfaction with infin ..."
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Cited by 31 (17 self)
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Abstract. On finite structures, there is a wellknown connection between the expressive power of Datalog, finite variable logics, the existential pebble game, and bounded hypertree duality. We study this connection for infinite structures. This has applications for constraint satisfaction with infinite templates, i.e., for all computational problems that are closed under disjoint unions and whose complement is closed under homomorphisms. If the template Γ is ωcategorical, we obtain alternative characterizations of bounded Datalog width. We also show that CSP(Γ) can be solved in polynomial time if Γ is ωcategorical and the input is restricted to instances of bounded treewidth. Finally, we prove algebraic characterisations of those ωcategorical templates whose CSP has Datalog width (1, k), and for those whose CSP has strict Datalog width k.
A maximal tractable class of soft constraints
 J. Artif. Intell. Res
, 2004
"... Many optimization problems can be expressed using some form of soft constraints, where different measures of desirability arc associated with different combinations of domain values for specified subsets of variables. In this paper we identify a class of soft binary constraints for which the problem ..."
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Cited by 29 (10 self)
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Many optimization problems can be expressed using some form of soft constraints, where different measures of desirability arc associated with different combinations of domain values for specified subsets of variables. In this paper we identify a class of soft binary constraints for which the problem of finding the optimal solution is tractable. In other words, we show that for any given set of such constraints, there exists a polynomial time algorithm to determine the assignment having the best overall combined measure of desirability. This tractable class includes many commonlyoccurring soft constraints, such as "as near as possible " or "as soon as possible after", as well as crisp constraints such as "greater than ' 1. 1