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    Generalizing global constraints based on network flows

    Razgon, Igor and O'Sullivan, B. and Provan, G.M. Generalizing global constraints based on network flows. In: Fages, F. and Rossi, F. and Soliman, S. (eds.) CSCLP 2007: Recent Advances in Constraints. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 5129. Springer, pp. 127-141. ISBN 978-3-540-89811-5.

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    Global constraints are used in constraint programming to help users specify patterns that occur frequently in the real world. In addition, global constraints facilitate the use of efficient constraint propagation algorithms for problem solving. Many of the most common global constraints used in constraint programming use filtering algorithms based on network flow theory. We show how we can formulate global constraints such as GCC, Among, and their combinations, in terms of a tractable set-intersection problem called Two Families Of Sets (TFOS). We demonstrate that the TFOS problem allows us to represent tasks that are often difficult to model in terms of a classical constraint satisfaction paradigm. In the final part of the paper we specify some tractable and intractable extensions of the TFOS problem. The contribution of this paper is the characterisation of a general framework that helps us to study the tractability of global constraints that rely on filtering algorithms based on network flow theory.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2021 10:54
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:52


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