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Algorithms for Constraint Satisfaction Problems: A Survey
 AI MAGAZINE
, 1992
"... A large variety of problems in Artificial Intelligence and other areas of computer science can be viewed as a special case of the constraint satisfaction problem. Some examples are machine vision, belief maintenance, scheduling, temporal reasoning, graph problems, floor plan design, planning genetic ..."
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Cited by 376 (0 self)
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A large variety of problems in Artificial Intelligence and other areas of computer science can be viewed as a special case of the constraint satisfaction problem. Some examples are machine vision, belief maintenance, scheduling, temporal reasoning, graph problems, floor plan design, planning genetic experiments, and the satisfiability problem. A number of different approaches have been developed for solving these problems. Some of them use constraint propagation to simplify the original problem. Others use backtracking to directly search for possible solutions. Some are a combination of these two techniques. This paper presents a brief overview of many of these approaches in a tutorial fashion.
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.
Algorithms for the Satisfiability (SAT) Problem: A Survey
 DIMACS Series in Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science
, 1996
"... . The satisfiability (SAT) problem is a core problem in mathematical logic and computing theory. In practice, SAT is fundamental in solving many problems in automated reasoning, computeraided design, computeraided manufacturing, machine vision, database, robotics, integrated circuit design, compute ..."
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Cited by 126 (3 self)
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. The satisfiability (SAT) problem is a core problem in mathematical logic and computing theory. In practice, SAT is fundamental in solving many problems in automated reasoning, computeraided design, computeraided manufacturing, machine vision, database, robotics, integrated circuit design, computer architecture design, and computer network design. Traditional methods treat SAT as a discrete, constrained decision problem. In recent years, many optimization methods, parallel algorithms, and practical techniques have been developed for solving SAT. In this survey, we present a general framework (an algorithm space) that integrates existing SAT algorithms into a unified perspective. We describe sequential and parallel SAT algorithms including variable splitting, resolution, local search, global optimization, mathematical programming, and practical SAT algorithms. We give performance evaluation of some existing SAT algorithms. Finally, we provide a set of practical applications of the sat...
Solution reuse in dynamic constraint satisfaction problems
 In Proceedings of the 12th National Conference on Artificial Intelligence
, 1994
"... Many AI problems can be modeled as constraint satisfaction problems (CSP), but many of them are actually dynamic: the set of constraints to consider evolves because of the environment, the user or other agents in the framework of a distributed system. In this context, computing a new solution from s ..."
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Cited by 86 (6 self)
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Many AI problems can be modeled as constraint satisfaction problems (CSP), but many of them are actually dynamic: the set of constraints to consider evolves because of the environment, the user or other agents in the framework of a distributed system. In this context, computing a new solution from scratch after each problem change is possible, but has two important drawbacks: inefficiency and instability of the successive solutions. In this paper, we propose a method for reusing any previous solution and producing a new one by local changes on the previous one. First we give the key idea and the corresponding algorithm. Then we establish
Probe Backtrack Search for Minimal Perturbation in Dynamic Scheduling
, 1999
"... . This paper describes an algorithm designed to minimally recongure schedules in response to a changing environment. External factors have caused an existing schedule to become invalid, perhaps due to the withdrawal of resources, or because of changes to the set of scheduled activities. The total s ..."
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Cited by 73 (13 self)
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. This paper describes an algorithm designed to minimally recongure schedules in response to a changing environment. External factors have caused an existing schedule to become invalid, perhaps due to the withdrawal of resources, or because of changes to the set of scheduled activities. The total shift in the start and end times of already scheduled activities should be kept to a minimum. This optimization requirement may be captured using a linear optimization function over linear constraints. However, the disjunctive nature of the resource constraints impairs traditional mathematical programming approaches. The unimodular probing algorithm interleaves constraint programming and linear programming. The linear programming solver handles only a controlled subset of the problem constraints, to guarantee that the values returned are discrete. Using probe backtracking, a complete, repairbased method for search, these values are simply integrated into constraint programming. Unimodular p...
On the Feasibility of Distributed Constraint Satisfaction
, 1991
"... This paper characterizes connectionisttype architectures that allow a distributed solution for classes of constraintsatisfaction problems. The main issue addressed is whether there exists a uniform model of computation (where all nodes are indistinguishable) that guarantees convergence to a ..."
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Cited by 69 (12 self)
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This paper characterizes connectionisttype architectures that allow a distributed solution for classes of constraintsatisfaction problems. The main issue addressed is whether there exists a uniform model of computation (where all nodes are indistinguishable) that guarantees convergence to a solution from every initial state of the system, whenever such a solution exists. We show that even for relatively simple constraint networks, such as rings, there is no general solution using a completely uniform, asynchronous, model. However, some restricted topologies like trees can accommodate the uniform, asynchronous, model and a protocol demonstrating this fact is presented. An almostuniform, asynchronous, networkconsistency protocol is also presented. We show that the algorithms are guaranteed to be selfstabilizing, which makes them suitable for dynamic or errorprone environments. 1 Introduction Consider the distributed version of the graph coloring problem, where ea...
Supermodels and Robustness
 In AAAI/IAAI
, 1998
"... When search techniques are used to solve a practical problem, the solution produced is often brittle in the sense that small execution difficulties can have an arbitrarily large effect on the viability of the solution. The AI community has responded to this difficulty by investigating the developmen ..."
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Cited by 41 (4 self)
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When search techniques are used to solve a practical problem, the solution produced is often brittle in the sense that small execution difficulties can have an arbitrarily large effect on the viability of the solution. The AI community has responded to this difficulty by investigating the development of "robust problem solvers" that are intended to be proof against this difficulty. We argue that robustness is best cast not as a property of the problem solver, but as a property of the solution. We introduce a new class of models for a logical theory, called supermodels, that captures this idea. Supermodels guarantee that the model in question is robust, and allow us to quantify the degree to which it is so. We investigate the theoretical properties of supermodels, showing that finding supermodels is typically of the same theoretical complexity as finding models. We provide a general way to modify a logical theory so that a model of the modified theory is a supermodel of the original. Ex...
SelfStabilizing Distributed Constraint Satisfaction
, 1991
"... Distributed architectures and solutions are described for classes of constraint satisfaction problems, called network consistency problems. An inherent assumption of these architectures is that the communication network mimics the structure of the constraint problem. The solutions are required to be ..."
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Cited by 38 (3 self)
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Distributed architectures and solutions are described for classes of constraint satisfaction problems, called network consistency problems. An inherent assumption of these architectures is that the communication network mimics the structure of the constraint problem. The solutions are required to be selfstabilizing and to treat arbitrary networks, which makes them suitable for dynamic or errorprone environments. We first show that even for relatively simple constraint networks, such as rings, there is no selfstabilizing solution that guarantees convergence from every initial state of the system using a completely uniform, asynchronous model (where all processors are identical). An almostuniform, asynchronous, network consistency protocol with one specially designated node is shown and proven correct. We also show that some restricted topologies such as trees can accommodate the uniform, asynchronous model when neighboring nodes cannot take simultaneous steps. 1 Introduction Consid...
Lifelong Planning A*
, 2005
"... Heuristic search methods promise to find shortest paths for pathplanning problems faster than uninformed search methods. Incremental search methods, on the other hand, promise to find shortest paths for series of similar pathplanning problems faster than is possible by solving each pathplanning p ..."
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Cited by 31 (3 self)
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Heuristic search methods promise to find shortest paths for pathplanning problems faster than uninformed search methods. Incremental search methods, on the other hand, promise to find shortest paths for series of similar pathplanning problems faster than is possible by solving each pathplanning problem from scratch. In this article, we develop Lifelong Planning A * (LPA*), an incremental version of A * that combines ideas from the artificial intelligence and the algorithms literature. It repeatedly finds shortest paths from a given start vertex to a given goal vertex while the edge costs of a graph change or vertices are added or deleted. Its first search is the same as that of a version of A * that breaks ties in favor of vertices with smaller gvalues but many of the subsequent searches are potentially faster because it reuses those parts of the previous search tree that are identical to the new one. We present analytical results that demonstrate its similarity to A * and experimental results that demonstrate its potential advantage in two different domains if the pathplanning problems change only slightly and the changes are close to the goal.
Stable Solutions for Dynamic Constraint Satisfaction Problems
, 1998
"... . An important extension of constraint technology involves problems that undergo changes that may invalidate the current solution. Previous work on dynamic problems sought methods for efficiently finding new solutions. We take a more proactive approach, exploring methods for finding solutions mo ..."
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Cited by 31 (3 self)
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. An important extension of constraint technology involves problems that undergo changes that may invalidate the current solution. Previous work on dynamic problems sought methods for efficiently finding new solutions. We take a more proactive approach, exploring methods for finding solutions more likely to remain valid after changes that temporarily alter the set of valid assignments (stable solutions). To this end, we examine strategies for tracking changes in a problem and incorporating this information to guide search to solutions that are more likely to be stable. In this work search is carried out with a minconflicts hill climbing procedure, and information about change is used to bias value selection, either by distorting the objective function or by imposing further criteria on selection. We study methods that track either value losses or constraint additions, and incorporate information about relative frequency of change into search. Our experiments show that the...