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08:30-09:00Coffee & Refreshments
09:00-10:30 Session 73A: DEI Special Event

9:00 Introduction (Chris Beck)

9:05 "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in CP: Presenting survey results and recent findings" (presenter: Maria Garcia de la Banda)

9:45 Panel on DEI in CP  Panelists: Noa Agmon, Luis Quesada, Hélène Verhaeghe  Panel facilitators: Chris Beck, Maria Garcia de la Banda

Location: Taub 7
10:30-11:00Coffee Break
11:00-12:30 Session 76A: Theory + TDM

11:00-12:00: Theory

12:00-12:30: Trustworthy Decision Making

Location: Taub 7
Complexity of Minimum-Size Arc-Inconsistency Explanations
PRESENTER: Emmanuel Hebrard

ABSTRACT. Explaining the outcome of programs has become one of the main concerns in AI research. In constraint programming, a user may want the system to explain why a given variable assignment is not feasible or how it came to the conclusion that the problem does not have any solution. One solution to the latter is to return to the user a sequence of simple reasoning steps that lead to inconsistency. Arc consistency is a well-known form of reasoning that can be understood by a human. We consider explanations as sequences of propagation steps of a constraint on a variable (i.e. the ubiquitous revise function in arc consistency algorithms). We characterize, on binary CSPs, cases for which providing a shortest such explanation is easy: when domains are Boolean or when the constraint graph has maximum degree two. However, it is NP-hard in general. Surprisingly, it remains NP-hard for as few as four variables. It also remains NP-hard if the problem has a tree structure, despite the fact that arc consistency is a decision procedure on trees.

Weisfeiler-Leman Invariant Promise Valued CSPs
PRESENTER: Silvia Butti

ABSTRACT. In a recent line of work, Butti and Dalmau have shown that a fixed-template Constraint Satisfaction Problem is solvable by a certain natural linear programming relaxation (equivalent to the basic linear programming relaxation) if and only if it is solvable on a certain distributed network, and this happens if and only if its set of Yes instances is closed under Weisfeiler-Leman equivalence. We generalize this result to the much broader framework of fixed-template Promise Valued Constraint Satisfaction Problems. Moreover, we show that two commonly used linear programming relaxations are no longer equivalent in this broader framework.

An Auditable Constraint Programming Solver
PRESENTER: Ciaran McCreesh

ABSTRACT. We describe the design and implementation of a new constraint programming solver that can produce an auditable record of what problem was solved and how the solution was reached. As well as a solution, this solver provides an independently verifiable proof log demonstrating that the solution is correct. This proof log uses the VeriPB proof system, which is based upon cutting planes reasoning with extension variables. We explain how this system can support proof logging when using global constraints, variables with large domains, and reformulation, despite not natively understanding any of these concepts.

11:00-12:30 Session 76B: Propagation + Heuristics
Location: Taub 4
A Portfolio-Based Approach to Select Efficient Variable Ordering Heuristics for Constraint Satisfaction Problems

ABSTRACT. Variable ordering heuristics (VOH) play a central role in solving Constraint Satisfaction Problems (CSP). The performance of different VOHs may vary greatly in solving the same CSP instance. In this paper, we propose an approach to select efficient VOHs for solving different CSP instances. The approach contains two phases. The first phase is a probing procedure that runs a simple portfolio strategy containing several different VOHs. The portfolio tries to use each of the candidate VOHs to guide backtracking search to solve the CSP instance within a limited number of failures. If the CSP is not solved by the portfolio, one of the candidates is selected for it by analysing the information attached in the search trees generated by the candidates. The second phase uses the selected VOH to guide backtracking search to solve the CSP. The experiments are run with the MiniZinc benchmark suite and four different VOHs which are considered as the state of the art are involved. The results show that the proposed approach finds the best VOH for more than 67% instances and it solves more instances than all the candidate VOHs and an adaptive VOH based on Multi-Armed Bandit. It could be an effective adaptive search strategy for black-box CSP solvers.

Explaining Propagation for Gini and Spread with Variable Mean
PRESENTER: Alexander Ek

ABSTRACT. In optimisation problems involving multiple agents (stakeholders) we often want to make sure that the solution is balanced and fair. That is, to maximise total utility subject to an upper bound on the statistical dispersion (e.g., spread or the Gini coefficient) of the utility given to different agents, or minimise dispersion subject to some lower bounds on utility. These needs arise in, for example, balancing tardiness in scheduling, unwanted shifts in rostering, and desired resources in resource allocation, or minimising deviation from a baseline in schedule repair, to name a few. These problems are often quite challenging. To solve them efficiently we want to effectively reason about dispersion. Previous work has studied the case where the mean is fixed, but this may not be possible for many problems, e.g. scheduling where total utility depends on the final schedule. In this paper we introduce two log-linear-time dispersion propagators—(a) spread (variance, and indirectly standard deviation) and (b) the Gini coefficient—capable of explaining their propagations, thus allowing effective learning solvers to be applied to these problems. Propagators for (a) exist in the literature but do not explain themselves, while propagators for (b) have not been previously studied. We avoid introducing floating point variables, which are usually not supported by learning solvers, by reasoning on an integer versions or scaled versions. We show that learning can substantially improve the solving of problems where we want to bound dispersion and optimise total utility and vice versa.

Structured Set Variable Domains in Bayesian Network Structure Learning

ABSTRACT. Constraint programming is a state of the art technique for learning the structure of Bayesian Networks from data (Bayesian Network Structure Learning -- BNSL). However, scalability both for CP and other combinatorial optimization techniques for this problem is limited by the fact that the basic decision variables are set variables with domain sizes Omega(n^log n) and potentially even larger, where n is the number of random variables. Usual techniques for handling set variables in CP are not useful, as they lead to poor bounds. In this paper, we propose using data structures for storing sets of sets to represent set variable domains. We show that relatively simple operations are sufficient to implement all propagation and bounding algorithms, and that the use of these data structures improves scalability of a state of the art CP-based solver for BNSL.

12:30-14:00Lunch Break

Lunch will be held in Taub lobby (CP, LICS, ICLP) and in The Grand Water Research Institute (KR, FSCD, SAT).

15:30-16:00Coffee Break