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Author Jeavons, Peter ♦ Cohen, David ♦ Gyssens, Marc
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format PDF
Copyright Year ©1997
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Data processing & computer science
Subject Keyword NP-completeness ♦ Complexity ♦ Constraint satisfaction problem ♦ Indicator problem
Abstract Many combinatorial search problems can be expressed as “constraint satisfaction problems” and this class of problems is known to be NP-complete in general. In this paper, we investigate the subclasses that arise from restricting the possible constraint types. We first show that any set of constraints that does not give rise to an NP-complete class of problems must satisfy a certain type of algebraic closure condition. We then investigate all the different possible forms of this algebraic closure property, and establish which of these are sufficient to ensure tractability. As examples, we show that all known classes of tractable constraints over finite domains can be characterized by such an algebraic closure property. Finally, we describe a simple computational procedure that can be used to determine the closure properties of a given set of constraints. This procedure involves solving a particular constraint satisfaction problem, which we call an “indicator problem.”
ISSN 00045411
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 1997-07-01
Publisher Place New York
e-ISSN 1557735X
Journal Journal of the ACM (JACM)
Volume Number 44
Issue Number 4
Page Count 22
Starting Page 527
Ending Page 548


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Source: ACM Digital Library