Jesús Giráldez-Cru, Jordi Levy

Generating SAT instances with community structure

Artificial Intelligence 2016

Nowadays, modern SAT solvers are able to efficiently solve many industrial, or real-world, SAT instances. However, the process of development and testing of new SAT solving techniques is conditioned to the finite and reduced number of known industrial benchmarks. Therefore, new models of random SAT instances generation that capture realistically the features of real-world problems can be beneficial to the SAT community. In many works, the structure of industrial instances has been analyzed representing them as graphs and studying some of their properties, like modularity.

In this work, we use the notion of modularity to define a new model of generation of random SAT instances with community structure, called Community Attachment. For high values of modularity (i.e., clear community structure), we realistically model pseudo-industrial random SAT formulas. This model also generates SAT instances very similar to classical random formulas using a low value of modularity. We also prove that the phase transition point, if exists, is independent on the modularity. We evaluate the adequacy of this model to real industrial SAT problems in terms of SAT solvers performance, and show that modern solvers do actually exploit this community structure. Finally, we use this generator to observe the connections between the modularity of the instance and some components of the solver, such as the variable branching heuristics or the clause learning mechanism.