Adversarial Satisfiability Problem

Michele Castellana 1, 2, Lenka Zdeborová 3

Journal of statistical mechanics-theory and experiment (2011) P03023

We study the adversarial satisfiability problem, where the adversary can choose whether variables are negated in clauses or not in order to make the resulting formula unsatisfiable. This is one case of a general class of adversarial optimization problems that often arise in practice and are algorithmically much harder than the standard optimization problems. We use the cavity method to compute large deviations of the entropy in the random satisfiability problem with respect to the negation-configurations. We conclude that in the thermodynamic limit the best strategy the adversary can adopt is extremely close to simply balancing the number of times every variable is and is not negated. We also conduct a numerical study of the problem, and find that there are very strong pre-asymptotic effects that are due to the fact that for small sizes exponential and factorial growth is hardly distinguishable.

  • 1. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud
  • 2. Dipartimento di Fisica and INFM,
    Università degli studi di Roma I - La Sapienza
  • 3. Institut de Physique Théorique (ex SPhT) (IPHT),
    CNRS : URA2306 – CEA : DSM/IPHT