Dependency Learning for QBF

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Abstract

Quantified Boolean Formulas (QBFs) can be used to succinctly encode problems from domains such as formal verification, planning, and synthesis. One of the main approaches to QBF solving is Quantified Conflict Driven Clause Learning (QCDCL). By default, QCDCL assigns variables in the order of their appearance in the quantifier prefix so as to account for dependencies among variables. Dependency schemes can be used to relax this restriction and exploit independence among variables in certain cases, but only at the cost of nontrivial interferences with the proof system underlying QCDCL. We introduce dependency learning, a new technique for exploiting variable independence within QCDCL that allows solvers to learn variable dependencies on the fly. The resulting version of QCDCL enjoys improved propagation and increased flexibility in choosing variables for branching while retaining ordinary (long-distance) Q-resolution as its underlying proof system. We show that dependency learning can achieve exponential speedups over ordinary QCDCL. Experiments on standard benchmark sets demonstrate the effectiveness of this technique.

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