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    The complexity of quantified constraint satisfaction: collapsibility, sink algebras, and the three-element case

    Chen, Hubie (2006) The complexity of quantified constraint satisfaction: collapsibility, sink algebras, and the three-element case. CoRR ,

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    The constraint satisfaction probem (CSP) is a well-acknowledged framework in which many combinatorial search problems can be naturally formulated. The CSP may be viewed as the problem of deciding the truth of a logical sentence consisting of a conjunction of constraints, in front of which all variables are existentially quantified. The quantified constraint satisfaction problem (QCSP) is the generalization of the CSP where universal quantification is permitted in addition to existential quantification. The general intractability of these problems has motivated research studying the complexity of these problems under a restricted constraint language, which is a set of relations that can be used to express constraints. This paper introduces collapsibility, a technique for deriving positive complexity results on the QCSP. In particular, this technique allows one to show that, for a particular constraint language, the QCSP reduces to the CSP. We show that collapsibility applies to three known tractable cases of the QCSP that were originally studied using disparate proof techniques in different decades: Quantified 2-SAT (Aspvall, Plass, and Tarjan 1979), Quantified Horn-SAT (Karpinski, Kleine Büning, and Schmitt 1987), and Quantified Affine-SAT (Creignou, Khanna, and Sudan 2001). This reconciles and reveals common structure among these cases, which are describable by constraint languages over a two-element domain. In addition to unifying these known tractable cases, we study constraint languages over domains of larger size.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2021 14:36
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:50


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