## Minimizing Conflicts: A Heuristic Repair Method for Constraint-Satisfaction and Scheduling Problems (1993)

Venue: | J. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE RESEARCH |

Citations: | 397 - 6 self |

### BibTeX

@ARTICLE{Minton93minimizingconflicts:,

author = {Steven Minton and Andy Philips and Mark D. Johnston and Philip Laird},

title = {Minimizing Conflicts: A Heuristic Repair Method for Constraint-Satisfaction and Scheduling Problems},

journal = {J. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE RESEARCH},

year = {1993},

volume = {58},

pages = {161--205}

}

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### OpenURL

### Abstract

This paper describes a simple heuristic approach to solving large-scale constraint satisfaction and scheduling problems. In this approach one starts with an inconsistent assignment for a set of variables and searches through the space of possible repairs. The search can be guided by a value-ordering heuristic, the min-conflicts heuristic, that attempts to minimize the number of constraint violations after each step. The heuristic can be used with a variety of different search strategies. We demonstrate empirically that on the n-queens problem, a technique based on this approach performs orders of magnitude better than traditional backtracking techniques. We also describe a scheduling application where the approach has been used successfully. A theoretical analysis is presented both to explain why this method works well on certain types of problems and to predict when it is likely to be most effective.