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The complexity of soft constraint satisfaction.

Cohen, D. and Cooper, M. and Jeavons, P. and Krokhin, A. (2006) 'The complexity of soft constraint satisfaction.', Artificial intelligence., 170 (11). pp. 983-1016.


Over the past few years there has been considerable progress in methods to systematically analyse the complexity of constraint satisfaction problems with specified constraint types. One very powerful theoretical development in this area links the complexity of a set of constraints to a corresponding set of algebraic operations, known as polymorphisms. In this paper we extend the analysis of complexity to the more general framework of combinatorial optimisation problems expressed using various forms of soft constraints. We launch a systematic investigation of the complexity of these problems by extending the notion of a polymorphism to a more general algebraic operation, which we call a multimorphism. We show that many tractable sets of soft constraints, both established and novel, can be characterised by the presence of particular multimorphisms. We also show that a simple set of NP-hard constraints has very restricted multimorphisms. Finally, we use the notion of multimorphism to give a complete classification of complexity for the Boolean case which extends several earlier classification results for particular special cases.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:
Keywords:Soft constraints, Valued constraint satisfaction, Combinatorial optimisation, Submodular functions, Tractability, Multimorphism.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
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Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:No date available
Date of first online publication:August 2006
Date first made open access:No date available

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