Constraint integer programming (CIP) is a novel paradigm which integrates constraint programming (CP), mixed integer programming (MIP), and satisfiability (SAT) modeling and solving techniques. In this paper we discuss the software framework and solver SCIP (Solving Constraint Integer Programs), which is free for academic and non-commercial use and can be downloaded in source code.

This paper gives an overview of the main design concepts of SCIP and how it can be used to solve constraint integer programs. To illustrate the performance and flexibility of SCIP, we apply it to two different problem classes. First, we consider mixed integer programming and show by computational experiments that SCIP is almost competitive to specialized commercial MIP solvers, even though SCIP supports the more general constraint integer programming paradigm. We develop new ingredients that improve current MIP solving technology.

As a second application, we employ SCIP to solve chip design verification problems as they arise in the logic design of integrated circuits. This application goes far beyond traditional MIP solving, as it includes several highly non-linear constraints, which can be handled nicely within the constraint integer programming framework. We show anecdotally how the different solving techniques from MIP, CP, and SAT work together inside SCIP to deal with such constraint classes. Finally, experimental results show that our approach outperforms current state-of-the-art techniques for proving the validity of properties on circuits containing arithmetic.

This paper gives an overview of the main design concepts of SCIP and how it can be used to solve constraint integer programs. To illustrate the performance and flexibility of SCIP, we apply it to two different problem classes. First, we consider mixed integer programming and show by computational experiments that SCIP is almost competitive to specialized commercial MIP solvers, even though SCIP supports the more general constraint integer programming paradigm. We develop new ingredients that improve current MIP solving technology.

As a second application, we employ SCIP to solve chip design verification problems as they arise in the logic design of integrated circuits. This application goes far beyond traditional MIP solving, as it includes several highly non-linear constraints, which can be handled nicely within the constraint integer programming framework. We show anecdotally how the different solving techniques from MIP, CP, and SAT work together inside SCIP to deal with such constraint classes. Finally, experimental results show that our approach outperforms current state-of-the-art techniques for proving the validity of properties on circuits containing arithmetic.

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We describe a new implementation of the Edmonds’s algorithm for computing a perfect matching of minimum cost, to which we refer as Blossom V. A key feature of our implementation is a combination of two ideas that were shown to be effective for this problem: the “variable dual updates” approach of Cook and Rohe (INFORMS J Comput 11(2):138–148, 1999) and the use of priority queues. We achieve this by maintaining an auxiliary graph whose nodes correspond to alternating trees in the Edmonds’s algorithm. While our use of priority queues does not improve the worst-case complexity, it appears to lead to an efficient technique. In the majority of our tests Blossom V outperformed previous implementations of Cook and Rohe (INFORMS J Comput 11(2):138–148, 1999) and Mehlhorn and Schäfer (J Algorithmics Exp (JEA) 7:4, 2002), sometimes by an order of magnitude. We also show that for large VLSI instances it is beneficial to update duals by solving a linear program, contrary to a conjecture by Cook and Rohe.

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In this paper, a methodology for testing the accuracy and strength of cut generators for mixed-integer linear programming is presented. The procedure amounts to random diving towards a feasible solution, recording several kinds of failures. This allows for a ranking of the accuracy of the generators. Then, for generators deemed to have similar accuracy, statistical tests are performed to compare their relative strength. An application on eight Gomory cut generators and six Reduce-and-Split cut generators is given. The problem of constructing benchmark instances for which feasible solutions can be obtained is also addressed.

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