Assignment 3: CSPs


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Programming Assignment 3

Assignment 3: CSPs
Table of Contents
Q1: Table Constraint
Q2: Forward Checking
Q3: GacEnforce and GAC
Q4: AllDiff for Sudoku
Q5: NValues Constraint
Q6: Plane Scheduling Problem
In this project, you will implement some new constraints and backtracking search algorithms.
Note that this code base is unrelated to the Berkeley pacman code base. So you will not need any of
the files from A1 nor A2. (If anyone has a good idea as to how to use CSPs within the pacman
framework please let us know).
The code for this project contains the following files, available as a zip archive.
Files you’ll edit:
Where all of the code related to backtracking search is located. You will
implement forward checking and gac search in this file.
Where all of the code related implementing different CSP problems is
located. You will implement a new version of the nQueens CSP and a CSP
to solve the plane scheduling problem in this file.
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Where all of the code related implementing various constraints is located.
You will implement the NValues constraint in this file.
Files you can ignore: File containing the definitions of Variables, Constraints, and CSP classes. Some basic utility functions. Solve nQueens problems. Solve sudoku problems. Solve plane scheduling problems.
Program for evaluating your solutions. As always your solution might also
be evaluated with additional tests besides those performed by the
Files to Edit and Submit: You will fill in portions of , , and
during the assignment. You may also add other functions and code to these file so as to create a
modular implementation. Do not add code to other files and import them. These files cannot be
submitted so your solution relying on these files will fail our testing You will submit these file with your
modifications. Please do not change the other files in this distribution.
Evaluation: Your code will be autograded for technical correctness. The tests in will
be run. Please do not change the names of any provided functions or classes within the code, or you
will wreak havoc on the autograder.
Getting Help: You are not alone! If you find yourself stuck on something, contact the course staff for
help. There will be scheduled help sessions (to be announced), the piazza discussion forum will be
monitored and questions answered, and you can also ask questions about the assignment during
office hours. These things are for your support; please take advantage of them. If you can’t make our
office hours, let us know and we will arrange a different appointment. We want the assignment to be
rewarding and instructional, not frustrating and demoralizing. But, we don’t know when or how to help
unless you ask.
Piazza Discussion: Please be careful not to post spoilers.
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What to Submit
You will be using MarkUs to submit your assignment. You will submit three files:
1. Your modified
2. Your modified
3. Your modified
Note: In the various parts below we ask a number of questions. You do not have to hand in answers
to these questions, rather these questions are designed to help you understand the material.
AutoGrader is not the same as the Berkeley autograder. You can only run the command
python -q qn
where qn is one of q1 , q2 , q3 , q4 , or q5 .
Or you can run the grader on all questions together with the command
The autograder does not generate any graphical output.
Question 1 (4 points): Implementing a Table Constraint already contains an implementation of BT (plain backtracking search) while contains an implementation of the nQueens problem. Try running
python 8
to solve the 8 queens problem using BT. If you run
python -c 8
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the program will find all solutions to the 8-Queens problem. Try
python –help
to see the other arguments you can use. (However, you haven’t implemented FC nor GAC yet, so you
can’t use these algorithms yet.) Try some different small numbers with the ‘-c’ option, to see how the
number of solutions grows with the number of Queens. Also observe that even numbered queens are
generally faster to solve, and the time to find a single solution for ‘BT’ grows quite quickly. Observe
the number of nodes explored. Later once you have FC and GAC implemented you will see that they
explore fewer nodes.
For this question look at . There you will find the class QueensTableConstraint that you
have to implement for this question. This class creates a table constraint to capture the nQueens
constraint. Once you have that implemented you can run
python -t 8
to solve the nQueens CSP using your table constraint implementation. Check a number of sizes and
‘-c’ options: you should get the same solutions returned irrespective of whether or not you use ‘-t’.
That is, your table constraint should yield the same behavior as the original QueensConstraint
Question 2 (5 points): Forward Checking
In you will find the unfinished function FC . You have to complete this function. Note
that the essential subroutine FCCheck has already been implemented for you. Note that your
implementation must deal correctly with finding one or all solutions. Check how this is done in the
already implemented BT algorithm…just be sure that you restore all pruned values even if FC is
terminating after one solution.
After implementing FC you will be able to run
python -a FC 8
to solve 8-Queens with forward checking. Solve some different sizes and check how the number of
nodes explored differs from when BT is used.
Also try solving sudoku using the command
python 1
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Which will solve board #1 using Forward Checking. Try other boards (1 to 7). Use
python –help
to see the other arguments you can use.
Also try
python -a ‘BT’ 1
to see how BT performs compared to FC. Finally try
python -a ‘FC’ -c 1
To find all solutions using FC. Check if any of the boards 1-7 have more than one solution.
Note also that if you have a sudoku board you would like to solve, you can easily add it into and solve it. Look at the code in this file to see how input boards are formatted and placed
in the list boards . Once a new board is added to the list boards it can be solved with the command
python -a ‘FC’ k where k is the position of the new board in the list boards
Question 3 (7 points): GacEnforce and GAC
In you will find unfinished GacEnforce and GAC routines. Complete these functions.
After finishing these routines you will be able to run
python -a GAC 8
Try different numbers of Queens and see how the number of nodes explored differs from when you
run FC .
Does GAC also take less time than FC on sudoku ? What about on nqueens ?
Now try running
python -e 1
which will not do any backtracking search, it will only run GacEnforce at the root.
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Try running only GacEnforce on each board to see which ones are solved by only doing GacEnforce .
Question 4 (2 points): AllDiff for Sudoku
In you will find the function sudokuCSP . This function takes a model parameter that is
either ‘neq’ or ‘alldiff’ . When model == ‘neq’ the returned CSP contains many binary not-equals
constraints. But when model == ‘alldiff’ the model should contain 27 allDifferent constraints.
Complete the implementation of sudokuCSP so it properly handles the case when model == ‘alldiff’
using allDifferent constraints instead of binary not-equals.
Note that this question is very easy as you can use the class AllDiffConstraint(Constraint) that is
already implemented in . However, you must successfully complete Question 3 to get
any marks on this question.
Question 5 (4 points): NValues Constraint
The NValues Constraint is a constraint over a set of variables that places a lower and an upper bound
on the number of those variables taking on value from a specified set of values.
In you will find an incomplete implementation of class NValuesConstraint . In
particular, the function hasSupport has not yet been implemented. Complete this implementation.
Question 6 (10 points): Plane Scheduling
Implement a solver for the following plane scheduling problem by encoding the problem as a CSP
and using your already developed code to find solutions.
You have a set of planes, and a set of flights each of which needs to be flown by some plane. The
task is to assign to each plane a sequence of flights so that:
1. Each plane is only assigned flights that it is capable of flying (e.g., small planes cannot fly transAtlantic flights).
2. Each plane’s initial flight can only be a flight departing from that plane’s initial location.
3. The sequence of flights flown by every plane must be feasible. That is, if F2 follows F1 in a
plane’s sequence of flights then it must be that F2 can follow F1 (normally this would mean that
F1 arrives at the same location that F2 departs).
4. Certain flights terminate at a maintenance location. All planes must be serviced with a certain
minimum frequency. If this minimum frequency is K then in the sequence of flights assigned to a
plane at least one out every subsequence of K flights must be a flight terminating at a
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maintenance location. Note that if a plane is only assigned J flights with J < K, then it satisfies this
5. Each flight must be scheduled (be part of some plane’s sequence of flights). And no flight can be
scheduled more than once.
Say we have two planes AC-1 and AC-2, and 5 flights AC001, AC002, AC003, AC004, and AC005.
1. AC-1 can fly any of these flights while AC-2 cannot fly AC003 (but can fly the others).
2. AC-1 can start with flight AC001, while AC-2 can start with AC004 or AC005.
3. AC002 can follow AC001, AC003 can follow AC002, and AC001 can follow AC003 (these form a
one-way circuit since we can’t, e.g., fly AC003 first then AC002). In addition, AC004 can follow
AC003, AC005 can follow AC004, and AC004 can follow AC005.
4. AC003 and AC005 end at a maintenance location.
5. The minimum maintenance frequency is 3.
In this case a legal solution would be for AC-1’s schedule to be the sequence of flights [AC001,
AC002, AC003, AC004] while AC-2’s schedule is [AC005] (notice that for AC-1 every subsequence of
size 3 at least one flight ends at a maintenance location). Another legal schedule would be for AC-1
to fly [AC001, AC002, AC003, AC004, AC005] and AC-2 to fly [] (i.e., AC-2 does do any flights).
Your task is to take a problem instance, where information like that given in the above example is
specified, and build a CSP representation of the problem. You then solve the CSP using any of the
search algorithms, and from the solution extract a legal schedule for each plane. Note that the set of
constraints you have (and have built in the previous questions) are sufficient to model this problem
(but feel free to implement further constraints if you need them for the CSP model you develop).
See for the details of how problem instances are specified;
contains the class PlaneProblem for holding a specific problem.
You are to complete the implementation of solve_planes in the file . This function
takes a PlaneProblem , constructs a CSP, solves that CSP with backtracking search, converts the
solutions of the CSP into the required format (see the solve_planes starter code for a specification of
the output format) and then returns the solutions.
You can also test your code with . The command
python -a GAC -c K
where K is the problem number, will invoke your code (from ) on the specified
problem. (Use
python –help
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for further information). It can be particularly useful to test your code on problems 1-4 as these
problems only test one of the constraints you have to satisfy.
A Few Hints:
First you should decide on the variables and the domain of values for these variables that you want to
use in your CSP model. You should design your variables so that it makes it easy to check the
constraints. Avoid variables that require an exponential number of values: performing GAC on such
constraints will be too expensive. A number of values equal to the number of flights times number of
planes values would be ok.
Try not to use table constraints over large numbers of variables. Table constraints over two or three
variables are fine: performing GAC on table constraints with large numbers of variables becomes very
In some models it is useful to observe that if plane P can fly up to K different flights, then the length of
its sequence of flights is at most K. For example, in the example above, AC-1 can fly 5 different flights
while AC-2 can fly 4 different flights. So clearly, the sequence of flights flown by AC-1 can’t be more
than 5 long, and for AC-2 in sequence can’t be more than 4 long.
As an example of a set of variables and values that would be inadequate consider having a variable
for every flight with values being the set of planes that can fly that flight. This a reasonable number of
variables, and it makes the last constraint, that every flight is scheduled only once, automatically
satisfied (since every variable can only have one value). However, these variables by themselves will
not be sufficient, as we won’t be able to determine the sequencing of the set of flights assigned to a
particular plane. Potentially, such variables might be useful, but other variables would have to be
added to model the sequencing part of the CSP.
You’re not done yet! You will also need to submit your code to MarkUs.
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