Aspartame: Solving Constraint Satisfaction Problems with Answer Set Programming

Mutsunori Banbara, Martin Gebser, Katsumi Inoue, Torsten Schaub, Takehide Soh, Naoyuki Tamura, Matthias Weise

Encoding finite linear CSPs as Boolean formulas and solving them by using modern SAT solvers has proven to be highly effective, as exemplified by the award-winning sugar system. We here develop an alternative approach based on ASP. This allows us to use first-order encodings providing us with a high degree of flexibility for easy experimentation with different implementations. The resulting system aspartame re-uses parts of sugar for parsing and normalizing CSPs. The obtained set of facts is then combined with an ASP encoding that can be grounded and solved by off-the-shelf ASP systems. We establish the competitiveness of our approach by empirically contrasting aspartame and sugar.

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