Using Pivot Consistency to Decompose and Solve Functional CSPs

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Abstract

Many studies have been carried out in order to increase thesearch efficiency of constraint satisfaction problems; among them,some make use of structural properties of the constraintnetwork; others take into account semantic properties of theconstraints, generally assuming that all the constraints possessthe given property. In this paper, we propose a new decompositionmethod benefiting from both semantic properties of functional constraints (not bijective constraints) and structuralproperties of the network; furthermore, not all the constraints needto be functional. We show that under some conditions, the existenceof solutions can be guaranteed. We first characterize a particularsubset of the variables, which we name a root set. We thenintroduce pivot consistency, a new local consistency which is aweak form of path consistency and can be achieved in O(n^2d^2)complexity (instead of O(n^3d^3) for path consistency), and wepresent associated properties; in particular, we show that anyconsistent instantiation of the root set can be linearly extended to a solution, which leads to the presentation of the aforementioned new method for solving by decomposing functional CSPs.

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