Disjunctions, independence, refinements

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Abstract

An important question in constraint satisfaction is how to restrict the problem to ensure tractability (since the general problem is NP-hard). The use of disjunctions has proven to be a useful method for constructing tractable constraint classes from existing classes; the well-known 'max-closed' and 'ORD-Horn' constraints are examples of tractable classes that can be constructed this way. Three sufficient conditions (the guaranteed satisfaction property, 1-independence and 2-independence) that each ensure the tractability of constraints combined by disjunctions have been proposed in the literature. We show that these conditions are both necessary and sufficient for tractability in three different natural classes of disjunctive constraints. This suggests that deciding this kind of property is a very important task when dealing with disjunctive constraints. We provide a simple, automatic method for checking the 1-independence property - this method is applicable whenever the consistency of the constraints under consideration can be decided by path-consistency. Our method builds on a connection between independence and refinements (which is a way of reducing one constraint satisfaction problem to another.) © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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Broxvall, M., Jonsson, P., & Renz, J. (2002). Disjunctions, independence, refinements. Artificial Intelligence, 140(1–2), 153–173. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0004-3702(02)00224-2

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