Constraint Optimization over Semirings

by   A. Pavan, et al.

Interpretations of logical formulas over semirings have applications in various areas of computer science including logic, AI, databases, and security. Such interpretations provide richer information beyond the truth or falsity of a statement. Examples of such semirings include Viterbi semiring, min-max or access control semiring, tropical semiring, and fuzzy semiring. The present work investigates the complexity of constraint optimization problems over semirings. The generic optimization problem we study is the following: Given a propositional formula φ over n variable and a semiring (K,+,·,0,1), find the maximum value over all possible interpretations of φ over K. This can be seen as a generalization of the well-known satisfiability problem. A related problem is to find an interpretation that achieves the maximum value. In this work, we first focus on these optimization problems over the Viterbi semiring, which we call optConfVal and optConf. We show that for general propositional formulas in negation normal form, optConfVal and optConf are in FP^NP. We investigate optConf when the input formula φ is represented as a CNF. For CNF formulae, we first derive an upper bound on optConfVal as a function of the number of maximum satisfiable clauses. In particular, we show that if r is the maximum number of satisfiable clauses in a CNF formula with m clauses, then its optConfVal is at most 1/4^m-r. Building on this we establish that optConfVal for CNF formulae is hard for the complexity class FP^NP[log]. We also design polynomial-time approximation algorithms and establish an inapproximability for optConfVal. We establish similar complexity results for these optimization problems over other semirings including tropical, fuzzy, and access control semirings.


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