Approximating Partition Functions of Bounded-Degree Boolean Counting Constraint Satisfaction Problems

Authors Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, Kuan Yang

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Andreas Galanis
Leslie Ann Goldberg
Kuan Yang

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Andreas Galanis, Leslie Ann Goldberg, and Kuan Yang. Approximating Partition Functions of Bounded-Degree Boolean Counting Constraint Satisfaction Problems. In 44th International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP 2017). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 80, pp. 27:1-27:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


We study the complexity of approximate counting Constraint Satisfaction Problems (#CSPs) in a bounded degree setting. Specifically, given a Boolean constraint language Gamma and a degree bound Delta, we study the complexity of #CSP_Delta(Gamma), which is the problem of counting satisfying assignments to CSP instances with constraints from Gamma and whose variables can appear at most Delta times. Our main result shows that: (i) if every function in Gamma is affine, then #CSP_Delta(Gamma) is in FP for all Delta, (ii) otherwise, if every function in Gamma is in a class called IM_2, then for all sufficiently large Delta, #CSP_Delta(Gamma) is equivalent under approximation-preserving (AP) reductions to the counting problem #BIS (the problem of counting independent sets in bipartite graphs) (iii) otherwise, for all sufficiently large Delta, it is NP-hard to approximate the number of satisfying assignments of an instance of #CSP_Delta(Gamma), even within an exponential factor. Our result extends previous results, which apply only in the so-called "conservative" case.
  • Constraint Satisfaction
  • Approximate Counting


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