HS-CAI: A Hybrid DCOP Algorithm via Combining Search with Context-Based Inference
Search and inference are two main strategies for optimally solving Distributed Constraint Optimization Problems (DCOPs). Recently, several algorithms were proposed to combine their advantages. Unfortunately, such algorithms only use an approximated inference as a one-shot preprocessing phase to construct the initial lower bounds which lead to inefficient pruning under the limited memory budget. On the other hand, iterative inference algorithms (e.g., MB-DPOP) perform a context-based complete inference for all possible contexts but suffer from tremendous traffic overheads. In this paper, (i) hybridizing search with context-based inference, we propose a complete algorithm for DCOPs, named HS-CAI where the inference utilizes the contexts derived from the search process to establish tight lower bounds while the search uses such bounds for efficient pruning and thereby reduces contexts for the inference. Furthermore, (ii) we introduce a context evaluation mechanism to select the context patterns for the inference to further reduce the overheads incurred by iterative inferences. Finally, (iii) we prove the correctness of our algorithm and the experimental results demonstrate its superiority over the state-of-the-art.