Abstraction, Reformulation and Approximation

Volume 3607 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 234-247

Compositional Derivation of Symmetries for Constraint Satisfaction

  • Pascal Van HentenryckAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science, Brown University
  • , Pierre FlenerAffiliated withDepartment of Information Technology, Uppsala University
  • , Justin PearsonAffiliated withDepartment of Information Technology, Uppsala University
  • , Magnus ÅgrenAffiliated withDepartment of Information Technology, Uppsala University

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This paper reconsiders the problems of discovering symmetries in constraint satisfaction problems (CSPs). It proposes a compositional approach which derives symmetries of the applications from primitive constraints. The key insight is the recognition of the special role of global constraints in symmetry detection. Once the symmetries of global constraints are available, it often becomes much easier to derive symmetries compositionally and efficiently. The paper demonstrates the potential of this approach by studying several classes of value and variable symmetries and applying the resulting techniques to two non-trivial applications. The paper also discusses the potential of reformulations and high-level modeling abstractions to strengthen symmetry discovery.