Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Technical Report CSL-01-02


We study the backtrack-search procedure with forward checking (FCBT) for finding all solutions to a finite Constraint Satisfaction Problem (CSP). We describe how to use dynamic interchangeability to enhance the performance of search and represent the solution space in a compact manner. We evaluate this strategy (FC-DNPI) in terms of the numbers of nodes visited, constraints checked, and solution bundles generated by comparing it, theoretically and empirically, to other search strategies. We show that FC-DNPI is equivalent to search with the Cross Product Representation (FC-CPR) of [Hubbe and Freuder 1992] in terms of the numbers of solution bundles and constraint checks, while it reduces the number of nodes visited. We establish that both strategies are always superior to FC-BT in terms of all three criteria and dynamic bundling is always beneficial. Further, we compare FC-DNPI to the search procedure of [Haselböck 1993], which exploits static, pre-computed interchangeability relations. We show that the former never generates more solution bundles nor expands more nodes than the latter, and often reduces the number of constraint checks. We also propose, without evaluating them, amendments to the strategy of [Haselböck 1993] to improve its performance and reduce the number of constraint checks.