Date: 11 Feb 2003

The Impact of Branching Heuristics in Propositional Satisfiability Algorithms

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Abstract

This paper studies the practical impact of the branching heuristics used in Propositional Satisfiability (SAT) algorithms, when applied to solving real-world instances of SAT. In addition, different SAT algorithms are experimentally evaluated. The main conclusion of this study is that even though branching heuristics are crucial for solving SAT, other aspects of the organization of SAT algorithms are also essential. Moreover, we provide empirical evidence that for practical instances of SAT, the search pruning techniques included in the most competitive SAT algorithms may be of more fundamental significance than branching heuristics.