The Seesaw Algorithm: Function Optimization Using Implicit Hitting Sets

Authors Mikoláš Janota , António Morgado , José Fragoso Santos , Vasco Manquinho

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Author Details

Mikoláš Janota
  • Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic
António Morgado
  • INESC-ID Lisbon, Portugal
José Fragoso Santos
  • INESC-ID/IST, University of Lisbon, Portugal
Vasco Manquinho
  • INESC-ID/IST, University of Lisbon, Portugal

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Mikoláš Janota, António Morgado, José Fragoso Santos, and Vasco Manquinho. The Seesaw Algorithm: Function Optimization Using Implicit Hitting Sets. In 27th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming (CP 2021). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 210, pp. 31:1-31:16, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


The paper introduces the Seesaw algorithm, which explores the Pareto frontier of two given functions. The algorithm is complete and generalizes the well-known implicit hitting set paradigm. The first given function determines a cost of a hitting set and is optimized by an exact solver. The second, called the oracle function, is treated as a black-box. This approach is particularly useful in the optimization of functions that are impossible to encode into an exact solver. We show the effectiveness of the algorithm in the context of static solver portfolio selection. The existing implicit hitting set paradigm is applied to cost function and an oracle predicate. Hence, the Seesaw algorithm generalizes this by enabling the oracle to be a function. The paper identifies two independent preconditions that guarantee the correctness of the algorithm. This opens a number of avenues for future research into the possible instantiations of the algorithm, depending on the cost and oracle functions used.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Computing methodologies → Optimization algorithms
  • implicit hitting sets
  • minimal hitting set
  • MaxSAT
  • optimization


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