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Fast, flexible MUS enumeration

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Abstract

The problem of enumerating minimal unsatisfiable subsets (MUSes) of an infeasible constraint system is challenging due first to the complexity of computing even a single MUS and second to the potentially intractable number of MUSes an instance may contain. In the face of the latter issue, when complete enumeration is not feasible, a partial enumeration of MUSes can be valuable, ideally with a time cost for each MUS output no greater than that needed to extract a single MUS. Recently, two papers independently presented a new MUS enumeration algorithm well suited to partial MUS enumeration (Liffiton and Malik, 2013, Previti and Marques-Silva, 2013). The algorithm exhibits good anytime performance, steadily producing MUSes throughout its execution; it is constraint agnostic, applying equally well to any type of constraint system; and its flexible structure allows it to incorporate advances in single MUS extraction algorithms and eases the creation of further improvements and modifications. This paper unifies and expands upon the earlier work, presenting a detailed explanation of the algorithm’s operation in a framework that also enables clearer comparisons to previous approaches, and we present a new optimization of the algorithm as well. Expanded experimental results illustrate the algorithm’s improvement over past approaches and newly explore some of its variants.

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Correspondence to Mark H. Liffiton.

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Liffiton, M.H., Previti, A., Malik, A. et al. Fast, flexible MUS enumeration. Constraints 21, 223–250 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10601-015-9183-0

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