By the same authors

Discriminating instance generation for automated constraint model selection

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  • Ian P. Gent
  • Bilal Syed Hussain
  • Christopher Jefferson
  • Lars Kotthoff
  • Ian Miguel
  • Glenna F. Nightingale
  • Peter Nightingale


Publication details

Title of host publicationPrinciples and Practice of Constraint Programming - 20th International Conference, CP 2014, Proceedings
DateAccepted/In press - 27 May 2014
DatePublished (current) - 8 Sep 2014
Number of pages10
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)9783319104270


One approach to automated constraint modelling is to generate, and then select from, a set of candidate models. This method is used by the automated modelling system Conjure. To select a preferred model or set of models for a problem class from the candidates Conjure produces, we use a set of training instances drawn from the target class. It is important that the training instances are discriminating. If all models solve a given instance in a trivial amount of time, or if no models solve it in the time available, then the instance is not useful for model selection. This paper addresses the task of generating small sets of discriminating training instances automatically. The instance space is determined by the parameters of the associated problem class. We develop a number of methods of finding parameter configurations that give discriminating training instances, some of them leveraging existing parameter-tuning techniques. Our experimental results confirm the success of our approach in reducing a large set of input models to a small set that we can expect to perform well for the given problem class.

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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