Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Woodward, Karakashian, Choueiry & Bessiere in Ninth International Symposium on Abstraction, Reformulation and Approximation (SARA) 2011. Pages 140-148. Copyright 2011, AAAI Press. Used by permission.


Freuder and Elfe (1996) introduced Neighborhood Inverse Consistency (NIC) as a new local consistency property for binary Constraint Satisfaction Problems (CSPs). Two advantages of the algorithm for enforcing NIC is that it automatically adapts its filtering power to the local connectivity of the network and has insignificant space overhead. However, studies on binary CSPs have shown that enforcing NIC is not effective on sparse graphs and too costly on dense graphs. In (Woodward et al. 2011), we introduced an algorithm for enforcing Relational Neighborhood Inverse Consistency (RNIC), which is an extension of NIC to non-binary CSPs. In this paper, we discuss how we enhance the propagation effectiveness of our algorithm and reduce its computational cost by reformulating the dual graph of the CSP. For that purpose, we describe two reformulation techniques that modify the topology of the dual graph without affecting the solution set of the problem. We present the two reformulations and their combinations, and discuss their effects on the consistency property enforced by the algorithm. We also describe a selection policy that nicely ties together the various components of our approach in a consistent, adaptive framework. Finally, we show that our automated selection policy outperforms all approaches in a statistically significant manner.