Randomness as a constraint

Prestwich S. D., Rossi R., TARIM Ş. A.

21st International Conference on the Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming, CP 2015, Cork, Ireland, 31 August - 04 September 2015, vol.9255, pp.351-366 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 9255
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/978-3-319-23219-5_25
  • City: Cork
  • Country: Ireland
  • Page Numbers: pp.351-366
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Some optimisation problems require a random-looking solution with no apparent patterns, for reasons of fairness, anonymity, undetectability or unpredictability. Randomised search is not a good general approach because problem constraints and objective functions may lead to solutions that are far from random.We propose a constraintbased approach to finding pseudo-random solutions, inspired by the Kolmogorov complexity definition of randomness and by data compression methods. Our “entropy constraints” can be implemented in constraint programming systems using well-known global constraints. We apply them to a problem from experimental psychology and to a factory inspection problem.