2+p-SAT: Relation of typical-case complexity to the nature of the phase transition

Abstract

Heuristic methods for solution of problems in the NP-complete class of decision problems often reach exact solutions, but fail badly at ‘‘phase boundaries,’’ across which the decision to be reached changes from almost always having one value to almost always having a different value. We report an analytic solution and experimental investigations of the phase transition that occurs in the limit of very large problems in K-SAT. Studying a model which interpolates K-SAT between Ks2 and Ks3, we find a change from a continuous to a discontinuous phase transition when K, the average number of inputs per clause, exceeds 0.4. The cost of finding solutions also increases dramatically above this changeover. The nature of its ‘‘random first-order’’ phase transition, seen at values of K large enough to make the computational cost of solving typical instances increase exponentially with problem size, suggests a mechanism for the cost increase. There has been Correspondence to: S. Kirkpatrick Q 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. CCC 1042-9832r99r030414-22

DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2418(199910/12)15:3/4%3C414::AID-RSA10%3E3.0.CO;2-G

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@article{Monasson19992pSATRO, title={2+p-SAT: Relation of typical-case complexity to the nature of the phase transition}, author={R{\'e}mi Monasson and Riccardo Zecchina and Scott Kirkpatrick and Bart Selman and Lidror Troyansky}, journal={Random Struct. Algorithms}, year={1999}, volume={15}, pages={414-435} }