Residuation for Soft Constraints: Lexicographic Orders and Approximation Techniques

Fabio Gadducci, Francesco Santini

Residuation theory concerns the study of partially ordered algebraic structures, most often monoids, equipped with a weak inverse for the monoidal operator. One of its area of application has been constraint programming, whose key requirement is the presence of an aggregator operator for combining preferences. Given a residuated monoid of preferences, the paper first shows how to build a new residuated monoid of (possibly infinite) tuples, which is based on the lexicographic order. Second, it introduces a variant of an approximation technique (known as Mini-bucket) that exploits the presence of the weak inverse.

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