On Minimum Representations of Matched Formulas

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

A Boolean formula in conjunctive normal form (CNF) is called matched if the system of sets of variables which appear in individual clauses has a system of distinct representatives. Each matched CNF is trivially satisfiable (each clause can be satisfied by its representative variable). Another property which is easy to see, is that the class of matched CNFs is not closed under partial assignment of truth values to variables. This latter property leads to a fact (proved here) that given two matched CNFs it is co-NP complete to decide whether they are logically equivalent. The construction in this proof leads to another result: a much shorter and simpler proof of the fact that the Boolean minimization problem for matched CNFs is a complete problem for the second level of the polynomial hierarchy. The main result of this paper deals with the structure of clause minimum CNFs. We prove here that if a Boolean function f admits a representation by a matched CNF then every clause minimum CNF representation of f is matched.


The Good Old Davis-Putnam Procedure Helps Counting Models

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

As was shown recently, many important AI problems require counting the number of models of propositional formulas. The problem of counting models of such formulas is, according to present knowledge, computationally intractable in a worst case. Based on the Davis-Putnam procedure, we present an algorithm, CDP, that computes the exact number of models of a propositional CNF or DNF formula F. Let m and n be the number of clauses and variables of F, respectively, and let p denote the probability that a literal l of F occurs in a clause C of F, then the average running time of CDP is shown to be O(nm^d), where d=-1/log(1-p). The practical performance of CDP has been estimated in a series of experiments on a wide variety of CNF formulas.


Fault Tolerant Boolean Satisfiability

AAAI Conferences

A δ-model is a satisfying assignment of a Boolean formula for which any small alteration, such as a single bit flip, can be repaired by flips to some small number of other bits, yielding a new satisfying assignment. These satisfying assignments represent robust solutions to optimization problems (e.g., scheduling) where it is possible to recover from unforeseen events (e.g., a resource becoming unavailable). The concept of δ-models was introduced by Ginsberg, Parkes, and Roy (1998), where it was proved that finding δ-models for general Boolean formulas is NPcomplete. In this paper, we extend that result by studying the complexity of finding δ-models for classes of Boolean formulas which are known to have polynomial time satisfiability solvers. In particular, we examine 2-SAT, Horn-SAT, Affine-SAT, dual-Horn-SAT, 0-valid and 1-valid SAT. We see a wide variation in the complexity of finding δ-models, e.g., while 2-SAT and Affine-SAT have polynomial time tests for δ-models, testing whether a Horn-SAT formula has one is NPcomplete.


Fault Tolerant Boolean Satisfiability

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

A delta-model is a satisfying assignment of a Boolean formula for which any small alteration, such as a single bit flip, can be repaired by flips to some small number of other bits, yielding a new satisfying assignment. These satisfying assignments represent robust solutions to optimization problems (e.g., scheduling) where it is possible to recover from unforeseen events (e.g., a resource becoming unavailable). The concept of delta-models was introduced by Ginsberg, Parkes and Roy (AAAI 1998) , where it was proved that finding delta-models for general Boolean formulas is NP-complete. In this paper, we extend that result by studying the complexity of finding delta-models for classes of Boolean formulas which are known to have polynomial time satisfiability solvers. In particular, we examine 2-SAT, Horn-SAT, Affine-SAT, dual-Horn-SAT, 0-valid and 1-valid SAT. We see a wide variation in the complexity of finding delta-models, e.g., while 2-SAT and Affine-SAT have polynomial time tests for delta-models, testing whether a Horn-SAT formula has one is NP-complete.


Search versus Decision: The Opacity of Backbones and Backdoors Under a Weak Assumption

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Backdoors and backbones of Boolean formulas are hidden structural properties. A natural goal, already in part realized, is that solver algorithms seek to obtain substantially better performance by exploiting these structures. However, the present paper is not intended to improve the performance of SAT solvers, but rather is a cautionary paper. In particular, the theme of this paper is that there is a potential chasm between the existence of such structures in the Boolean formula and being able to effectively exploit them. This does not mean that these structures are not useful to solvers. It does mean that one must be very careful not to assume that it is computationally easy to go from the existence of a structure to being able to get one's hands on it and/or being able to exploit the structure. For example, in this paper we show that, under the assumption that P $\neq$ NP, there are easily recognizable families of Boolean formulas with strong backdoors that are easy to find, yet for which it is hard (in fact, NP-complete) to determine whether the formulas are satisfiable. We also show that, also under the assumption P $\neq$ NP, there are easily recognizable sets of Boolean formulas for which it is hard (in fact, NP-complete) to determine whether they have a large backbone.