Core Expansion in Optimization Crosswords
Keywords:Combinatorial Puzzles, Combinatorial Optimization, Constraint Search
AbstractIn constraint optimization many problem instances remain challenging to current technology. We focus on the Romanian Crosswords Competition Problem. It is a challenging, NP-hard constraint optimization problem where state-of-the-art AI has been lagging significantly behind top human performance. We present an approach that first builds a core, a portion of the problem that will have a high contribution to the objective function. A core is grown into a seed, a partial solution with a subset of variables defined and instantiated. Seeds are further extended into full solutions. Our approach takes as input the size of a rectangular core to consider, and the locations of zero or more black cells inside the core. The results advance state-of-the-art substantially. We report a boost in the scores obtained, bringing our top solutions in the vicinity of top human entries.