Detecting and Exploiting Subproblem Tractability / 468
Christian Bessiere, Clement Carbonnel, Emmanuel Hebrard, George Katsirelos, Toby Walsh

Constraint satisfaction problems may be nearly tractable. For instance, most of the relations in a problem might belong to a tractable language. We introduce a method to take advantage of this fact by computing a backdoor to this tractable language. The method can be applied to many tractable classes for which the membership test is itself tractable. We introduce therefore two polynomial membership testing algorithms, to check if a language is closed under a majority or conservative Mal'tsev polymorphism, respectively. Then we show that computing a minimal backdoor for such classes is fixed parameter tractable (FPT) if the tractable subset of relations is given, and W[2]-complete otherwise. Finally, we report experimental results on the XCSP benchmark set. We identified a few promising problem classes where problems were nearly closed under a majority polymorphism and small backdoors could be computed.