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Dominion -- A constraint solver generator

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This paper proposes a design for a system to generate constraint solvers that are specialised for specific problem models. It describes the design in detail and gives preliminary experimental results showing the feasibility and effectiveness of the approach.


Modelling Constraint Solver Architecture Design as a Constraint Problem

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Designing component-based constraint solvers is a complex problem. Some components are required, some are optional and there are interdependencies between the components. Because of this, previous approaches to solver design and modification have been ad-hoc and limited. We present a system that transforms a description of the components and the characteristics of the target constraint solver into a constraint problem. Solving this problem yields the description of a valid solver. Our approach represents a significant step towards the automated design and synthesis of constraint solvers that are specialised for individual constraint problem classes or instances.


Machine learning for constraint solver design -- A case study for the alldifferent constraint

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Constraint solvers are complex pieces of software which require many design decisions to be made by the implementer based on limited information. These decisions affect the performance of the finished solver significantly. Once a design decision has been made, it cannot easily be reversed, although a different decision may be more appropriate for a particular problem. We investigate using machine learning to make these decisions automatically depending on the problem to solve. We use the alldifferent constraint as a case study. Our system is capable of making non-trivial, multi-level decisions that improve over always making a default choice and can be implemented as part of a general-purpose constraint solver.


Using machine learning to make constraint solver implementation decisions

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Programs to solve so-called constraint problems are complex pieces of software which require many design decisions to be made more or less arbitrarily by the implementer. These decisions affect the performance of the finished solver significantly. Once a design decision has been made, it cannot easily be reversed, although a different decision may be more appropriate for a particular problem. We investigate using machine learning to make these decisions automatically depending on the problem to solve with the alldifferent constraint as an example. Our system is capable of making non-trivial, multi-level decisions that improve over always making a default choice.


Fast Set Bounds Propagation Using a BDD-SAT Hybrid

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Binary Decision Diagram (BDD) based set bounds propagation is a powerful approach to solving set-constraint satisfaction problems. However, prior BDD based techniques in- cur the significant overhead of constructing and manipulating graphs during search. We present a set-constraint solver which combines BDD-based set-bounds propagators with the learning abilities of a modern SAT solver. Together with a number of improvements beyond the basic algorithm, this solver is highly competitive with existing propagation based set constraint solvers.