There Is No 16-Clue Sudoku: Solving the Sudoku Minimum Number of Clues Problem via Hitting Set Enumeration

@article{McGuire2014ThereIN,
  title={There Is No 16-Clue Sudoku: Solving the Sudoku Minimum Number of Clues Problem via Hitting Set Enumeration},
  author={G. McGuire and Bastian Tugemann and G. Civario},
  journal={Experimental Mathematics},
  year={2014},
  volume={23},
  pages={190 - 217}
}
The sudoku minimum number of clues problem is the following question: what is the smallest number of clues that a sudoku puzzle can have? For several years it had been conjectured that the answer is 17. We have performed an exhaustive computer search for 16-clue sudoku puzzles and did not find any, thus proving that the answer is indeed 17. In this article we describe our method and the actual search. As a part of this project, we developed a novel way to enumerate hitting sets. The hitting set… Expand
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