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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Synthesizing constraint expressions

A constraint network representation is presented for a combinatorial search problem: finding values for a set of variables subject to a set of constraints. A theory of consistency levels in such networks is formulated, which is related to problems of backtrack tree search efficiency. An algorithm is developed that can achieve any level of consistency desired, in order to preprocess the problem for subsequent backtrack search, or to function as an alternative to backtrack search by explicitly determining all solutions.

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