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Generalized Arc Consistency for Global Cardinality Constraint
"... A global cardinality constraint (gcc) is specified in terms of a set of variables X = fx1 ; :::; xpg which take their values in a subset of V = fv1 ; :::; vdg. It constrains the number of times a value v i 2 V is assigned toavariable in X to be in an interval (l i ;c i ). Cardinality constraints hav ..."
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Cited by 198 (10 self)
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A global cardinality constraint (gcc) is specified in terms of a set of variables X = fx1 ; :::; xpg which take their values in a subset of V = fv1 ; :::; vdg. It constrains the number of times a value v i 2 V is assigned toavariable in X to be in an interval (l i ;c i ). Cardinality constraints have proved very useful in many reallife problems, suchas scheduling, timetabling, or resource allocation. A gcc is more general than a constraint of difference, which requires each interval to be #0; 1#. In this paper, we present an efficient way of implementing generalized arc consistency for a gcc. The algorithm we propose is based on a new theorem of flow theory. Its space complexity is O(#Xj#jVj) and its time complexity is O(jXj 2 #jVj). We also show how this algorithm can efficiently be combined with other filtering techniques.
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 138 (16 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 96 (12 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 Optimal Coarsegrained Arc Consistency Algorithm
 Artificial Intelligence
"... The use of constraint propagation is the main feature of any constraint solver. It is thus of prime importance to manage the propagation in an efficient and effective fashion. There are two classes of propagation algorithms for general constraints: finegrained algorithms where the removal of a val ..."
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Cited by 90 (15 self)
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The use of constraint propagation is the main feature of any constraint solver. It is thus of prime importance to manage the propagation in an efficient and effective fashion. There are two classes of propagation algorithms for general constraints: finegrained algorithms where the removal of a value for a variable will be propagated to the corresponding values for other variables, and coarsegrained algorithms where the removal of a value will be propagated to the related variables. One big advantage of coarsegrained algorithms, like AC3, over finegrained algorithms, like AC4, is the ease of integration when implementing an algorithm in a constraint solver. However, finegrained algorithms usually have optimal worst case time complexity while coarsegrained algorithms don’t. For example, AC3 is an algorithm with nonoptimal worst case complexity although it is simple, efficient in practice, and widely used. In this paper we propose a coarsegrained algorithm, AC2001/3.1, that is worst case optimal and preserves as much as possible the ease of its integration into a solver (no heavy data structure to be maintained during search). Experimental results show that AC2001/3.1 is competitive with the best finegrained algorithms such as AC6. The idea behind the new algorithm can immediately be applied to obtain a path consistency algorithm that has the bestknown time and space complexity. The same idea is then extended to nonbinary constraints. Preliminary versions of this paper appeared in [BR01, ZY01].
Increasing Constraint Propagation by Redundant Modeling: an Experience Report
 CONSTRAINTS
, 1999
"... This paper describes our experience with a simple modeling and programming approach for increasing the amount of constraint propagation in the constraint solving process. The idea, although similar to redundant constraints, is based on the concept of redundant modeling. We introduce the notions of ..."
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Cited by 78 (8 self)
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This paper describes our experience with a simple modeling and programming approach for increasing the amount of constraint propagation in the constraint solving process. The idea, although similar to redundant constraints, is based on the concept of redundant modeling. We introduce the notions of CSP model and model redundancy, and show how mutually redundant models can be combined and connected using channeling constraints. The combined model contains the mutually redundant models as submodels. Channeling constraints allow the submodels to cooperate during constraint solving by propagating constraints freely amongst the submodels. This extra level of pruning and propagation activities becomes the source of execution speedup. We perform two case studies to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of our method. The first case study is based on the simple and wellknown nqueens problem, while the second case study applies our method in the design and construction of a reallife ...
Local Search With Constraint Propagation and ConflictBased Heuristics
, 2002
"... Search algorithms for solving CSP (Constraint Satisfaction Problems) usually fall into one of two main families: local search algorithms and systematic algorithms. Both families have their advantages. Designing hybrid approaches seems promising since those advantages may be combined into a single ap ..."
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Cited by 73 (18 self)
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Search algorithms for solving CSP (Constraint Satisfaction Problems) usually fall into one of two main families: local search algorithms and systematic algorithms. Both families have their advantages. Designing hybrid approaches seems promising since those advantages may be combined into a single approach. In this paper, we present a new hybrid technique. It performs a local search over partial assignments instead of complete assignments, and uses filtering techniques and conflictbased techniques to efficiently guide the search. This new technique benefits from both classical approaches: aprioripruning of the search space from filteringbased search and possible repair of early mistakes from local search. We focus on a specific version of this technique: tabu decisionrepair.Experiments done on openshop scheduling problems show that our approach competes well with the best highly specialized algorithms. 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Constraint propagation
 Handbook of Constraint Programming
, 2006
"... Constraint propagation is a form of inference, not search, and as such is more ”satisfying”, both technically and aesthetically. —E.C. Freuder, 2005. Constraint reasoning involves various types of techniques to tackle the inherent ..."
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Cited by 68 (5 self)
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Constraint propagation is a form of inference, not search, and as such is more ”satisfying”, both technically and aesthetically. —E.C. Freuder, 2005. Constraint reasoning involves various types of techniques to tackle the inherent
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 66 (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.
Constraint Programming Based Column Generation with Knapsack Subproblems
 Journal of Heuristics
, 1999
"... . We present how to apply Constraint Based Column Generation to a large class of subproblems, namely Constrained Knapsack Problems (CKP). They evolve e.g. from Cutting Stock Problems (see [7]) with additional constraints on the cutting patterns. Focussing on Constrained Knapsack Problems, we deve ..."
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Cited by 54 (17 self)
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. We present how to apply Constraint Based Column Generation to a large class of subproblems, namely Constrained Knapsack Problems (CKP). They evolve e.g. from Cutting Stock Problems (see [7]) with additional constraints on the cutting patterns. Focussing on Constrained Knapsack Problems, we developed a new reduction algorithm for KP. It is being used as propagation routine for the CKP with O(n log n) preprocessing time and O(n) time per call. This sums up to an amortized time of O(n) for (log n) calls. Keywords: Constrained Based Column Generation, Constrained Knapsack Problems, Cutting Stock Problems, Reduction Algorithms. 1 Introduction Recently, a new framework for the integration of CP and OR within column generation approaches was developed, the so called Constraint Based Column Generation [11]. It describes a generic way of how to treat arbitrary constraints for the constrained subproblem in the column generation phase. The approach has been successfully used for the C...
Intelligent Backtracking On Constraint Satisfaction Problems: Experimental And Theoretical Results
, 1995
"... The Constraint Satisfaction Problem is a type of combinatorial search problem of much interest in Artificial Intelligence and Operations Research. The simplest algorithm for solving such a problem is chronological backtracking, but this method suffers from a malady known as "thrashing," in ..."
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Cited by 52 (0 self)
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The Constraint Satisfaction Problem is a type of combinatorial search problem of much interest in Artificial Intelligence and Operations Research. The simplest algorithm for solving such a problem is chronological backtracking, but this method suffers from a malady known as "thrashing," in which essentially the same subproblems end up being solved repeatedly. Intelligent backtracking algorithms, such as backjumping and dependencydirected backtracking, were designed to address this difficulty, but the exact utility and range of applicability of these techniques have not been fully explored. This dissertation describes an experimental and theoretical investigation into the power of these intelligent backtracking algorithms. We compare the empirical performance of several such algorithms on a range of problem distributions. We show that the more sophisticated algorithms are especially useful on those problems with a small number of constraints that happen to be difficult for chronologica...