Conservative Dual Consistency

Christophe Lecoutre, Stephane Cardon, Julien Vion

Consistencies are properties of Constraint Networks (CNs) that can be exploited in order to make inferences. When a significant amount of such inferences can be performed, CNs are much easier to solve. In this paper, we interest ourselves in relation filtering consistencies for binary constraints, i.e. consistencies that allow to identify inconsistent pairs of values. We propose a new consistency called Dual Consistency (DC) and relate it to Path Consistency (PC). We show that Conservative DC (CDC, i.e. DC with only relations associated with the constraints of the network considered) is more powerful, in terms of filtering, than Conservative PC (CPC). Following the approach of Mac Gregor, we introduce an algorithm to establish (strong) CDC with a very low worst-case space complexity. Even if the relative efficiency of the algorithm introduced to establish (strong) CDC partly depends on the density of the constraint graph, the experiments we have conducted show that, on many series of CSP instances, CDC is largely faster than CPC (up to more than one order of magnitude). Besides, we have observed that enforcing CDC in a preprocessing stage can significantly speed up the resolution of hard structured instances.

Subjects: 15.2 Constraint Satisfaction; 15.7 Search

Submitted: Apr 20, 2007

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