Generalized Constraint Satisfaction Problems

A number of recent authors have given exponential-time algorithms for optimization problems such as Max Cut and Max Independent Set, or for the more general class of Constraint Satisfaction Problems (CSPs). In this paper, we introduce the the class of Generalized Constraint Satisfaction Problems (GCSPs), where the score functions are polynomial-valued rather than real-valued functions. We show that certain reductions used for solving CSPs can be extended to identities for the “partition function” of a GCSP, leading to relatively e±cient exponential-time (polynomial-space) algorithms for solving a GCSP. This also enables us (at the cost of only a polynomial factor in time) to modify existing
algorithms for optimizing CSPs into algorithms that count solutions or sample uniformly at random. Using an extra variable allows us to solve Max Bisection or calculate the partition function of the Ising Model, problems that were previously inaccessible with this approach.

By: Alexander D. Scott; Gregory B. Sorkin

Published in: RC23935 in 2006


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