, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 646–652 | Cite as

ℚ-bounds consistency for the spread constraint with variable mean

  • Soon Chee Loong
  • Wen-Yang Ku
  • J. Christopher Beck


The spread constraint enforces a relationship amongst a set of variables, their mean, and their standard deviation. The ℚ-bounds consistency (BC) algorithms that have been formally published and the implementations of which we are aware all assume a fixed mean value. A sketch of the BC algorithm with variable mean was proposed, which relies on the continuity property of a key function used in the fixed mean case. We show that this function may be piecewise discontinuous, meaning that the extension of the algorithm to the variable mean case that is suggested in the literature is unsound. We propose a simple modification of the algorithm that achieves ℚ-BC with variable mean.


Propagation Algorithm Maximum Standard Deviation Current Interval Bound Consistency Discontinuous Property 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Pesant, G. (2015). Achieving domain consistency and counting solutions for dispersion constraints. INFORMS Journal on Computing, 27(4), 690–703.MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pesant, G., & Régin, J.C. (2005). Spread: a balancing constraint based on statistics. In Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming-CP 2005 (pp. 460–474): Springer.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Schaus, P., Deville, Y., Dupont, P., & Régin, J.C. (2006). Simplification and extension of the spread constraint. In Third international workshop on constraint propagation and implementation (pp. 77–91).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Schaus, P., & Régin, J.C. (2013). Bound-consistent spread constraint. EURO Journal on Computational Optimization, 1–24.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Industrial EngineeringUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations