On Computing Minimal Correction Subsets / 615

*Joao Marques-Silva, Federico Heras, Mikolas Janota, Alessandro Previti, Anton Belov*

A set of constraints that cannot be simultaneously satisfied is over-constrained. Minimal relaxations and minimal explanations for over-constrained problems find many practical uses. For Boolean formulas, minimal relaxations of over-constrained problems are referred to as Minimal Correction Subsets (MCSes). MCSes find many applications, including the enumeration of MUSes. Existing approaches for computing MCSes either use a Maximum Satisfiability (MaxSAT) solver or iterative calls to a Boolean Satisfiability (SAT) solver. This paper shows that existing algorithms for MCS computation can be inefficient, and so inadequate, in certain practical settings. To address this problem, this paper develops a number of novel techniques for improving the performance of existing MCS computation algorithms. More importantly, the paper proposes a novel algorithm for computing MCSes. Both the techniques and the algorithm are evaluated empirically on representative problem instances, and are shown to yield the most efficient and robust solutions for MCS computation.