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Advancing AND/OR Search for Optimization Using Diverse Principles.

Radu Marinescu and Rina Dechter

In recent years, several Branch-and-Bound and best-first search algorithms were developed to explore the AND/OR search graph for solving general constraint optimization problems. Previous work showed the tremendous gain obtained by exploiting problem's decomposition (using AND nodes), equivalence (by caching) and irrelevance (via the power of lower bound heuristics). In this paper, we show the additional improvements that can be gained by bringing together all the above, as well as diverse refinements and optimizing principles such as exploiting determinism via constraint propagation, using good initial upper bounds generated via stochastic local search and improving the quality of the guiding pseudo tree. We illustrate our results using a number of benchmark networks, including the very challenging ones that arise in genetic linkage analysis.