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Efficient SAT-Based Encodings of Conditional Cardinality Constraints

15 pagesPublished: October 23, 2018


In the encoding of many real-world problems to propositional satisfiability, the cardinality constraint is a recurrent constraint that needs to be managed effectively. Several efficient encodings have been proposed while missing that such a constraint can be involved in a more general propositional formula. To avoid combinatorial explosion, the Tseitin principle usually used to translate such general propositional formula to Conjunctive Normal Form (CNF), introduces fresh propositional variables to represent sub-formulas and/or complex contraints. Thanks to Plaisted and Greenbaum improvement, the polarity of the sub-formula Φ is taken into account leading to conditional constraints of the form y → Φ, or Φ → y, where y is a fresh propositional variable. In the case where Φ represents a cardinality constraint, such translation leads to conditional cardinality constraints subject of the present paper. We first show that when all the clauses encoding the cardinality constraint are augmented with an additional new variable, most of the well-known encodings cease to maintain the generalized arc-consistency property. Then, we consider some of these encodings and show how they can be extended to recover such important property. An experimental validation is conducted on a SAT-based pattern mining application, where such conditional cardinality constraints are a cornerstone, showing the relevance of our proposed approach.

Keyphrases: cardinality constraints, modelling, propositional satisfiability

In: Gilles Barthe, Geoff Sutcliffe and Margus Veanes (editors). LPAR-22. 22nd International Conference on Logic for Programming, Artificial Intelligence and Reasoning, vol 57, pages 181--195

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Abdelhamid Boudane and Said Jabbour and Badran Raddaoui and Lakhdar Sais},
  title     = {Efficient SAT-Based Encodings of Conditional Cardinality Constraints},
  booktitle = {LPAR-22. 22nd International Conference on Logic for Programming, Artificial Intelligence and Reasoning},
  editor    = {Gilles Barthe and Geoff Sutcliffe and Margus Veanes},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Computing},
  volume    = {57},
  pages     = {181--195},
  year      = {2018},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2398-7340},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/kfjb}}
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