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Faster SAT and Smaller BDDs via Common Function Structure

By Fadi A. Aloul, Igor L. Markov and Karem A. Sakallah


The increasing popularity of SAT and BDD techniques in verification and synthesis encourages the search for additional speed-ups. Since typical SAT and BDD algorithms are exponential in the worst-case, the structure of real-world instances is a natural source of improvements. While SAT and BDD techniques are often presented as mutually exclusive alternatives, our work points out that both can be improved via the use of the same structural properties of instances. Our proposed methods are based on efficient problem partitioning and can be easily applied as pre-processing with arbitrary SAT solvers and BDD packages without source code modifications. Finding a better variable-ordering is a well recognized problem for both SAT solvers and BDD packages. Currently, all leading edge variable-ordering algorithms are dynamic, in the sense that they are invoked many times in the course of the “host ” algorithm that solves SAT or manipulates BDDs. Examples include the DLCS ordering for SAT solvers and variable-sifting during BDD manipulations. In this work we propose a universal variable-ordering MINCE (MIN Cut Etc.) that pre-processes a given Boolean formula in CNF. MINCE is completely independent from target algorithms and outperforms both DLCS for SAT and variable sifting for BDDs. We argue that MINCE tends to capture structural properties of Boolean functions arising from real-world applications. Our contribution is validated on the ISCAS circuits and the DIMACS benchmarks. Empirically, our technique often outperforms existing techniques by a factor of two or more. Our results motivate search for stronger dynamic ordering heuristics and combined static/dynamic techniques. 3

Year: 2001
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