[Proof Complexity] New paper: On Division Versus Saturation in Pseudo-Boolean Solving

Jakob Nordström jakobn at kth.se
Fri Jun 7 16:03:42 CEST 2019

Dear colleagues,

This is just to announce a new paper that compares the division rule, which we theoreticians usually think of as belonging to the cutting planes proof system, to the saturation rule, which is more popular in so-called pseudo-Boolean solvers searching for cutting planes proofs.

You find the paper at http://www.csc.kth.se/~jakobn/research/DivisionVsSaturation_IJCAI.pdf and the abstract and bibliographic reference is as below.

All comments are welcome!

Best regards,
Jakob Nordström


Stephan Gocht, Jakob Nordström, and Amir Yehudayoff. On Division Versus Saturation in Pseudo-Boolean Solving. To appear in Proceedings of the 28th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI '19), August 2019


The conflict-driven clause learning (CDCL) paradigm has revolutionized
SAT solving over the last two decades. Extending this approach to
pseudo-Boolean (PB) solvers doing 0-1 linear programming holds the
promise of further exponential improvements in theory, but
intriguingly such gains have not materialized in practice. Also
intriguingly, most PB extensions of CDCL use not the division rule in
cutting planes as defined in [Cook et al., '87] but instead the
so-called saturation rule. To the best of our knowledge, there has
been no study comparing the strengths of division and saturation in
the context of conflict-driven PB learning, when all linear
combinations of inequalities are required to cancel variables.

We show that PB solvers with division instead of saturation can be
exponentially stronger. In the other direction, we prove that
simulating a single saturation step can require an exponential number
of divisions. We also perform some experiments to see whether these
phenomena can be observed in actual solvers. Our conclusion is that a
careful combination of division and saturation seems to be crucial to
harness more of the power of cutting planes.

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