An Efficient Bound Consistency Algorithm for the Global Cardinality Constraint Problem

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Previous studies have demonstrated that designing special purpose constraint propagators can significantly improve the efficiency of a constraint programming approach. In this paper we present an efficient algorithm for bounds consistency propagation of the generalized cardinality constraint gcc. Using a variety of benchmark and random problems, we show that on some problems our bounds consistency algorithm can dramatically outperform existing state-of-the-art commercial implementations of constraint propagators for the gcc. We also present a new algorithm for domain consistency propagation of the gcc which improves on the worst-case performance of the best previous algorithm for problems that occur often in applications.

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