The last two decades have seen extraordinary advances in tools and techniques for constraint satisfaction. These advances have in turn created great interest in their industrial applications. As a result, tools and techniques are often tailored to meet the needs of industrial applications out of the box. We claim that in the case of abstract combinatorial problems in discrete mathematics, the standard tools and techniques require special considerations in order to be applied effectively. The main objective of this thesis is to help researchers in discrete mathematics weave through the landscape of constraint satisfaction techniques in order to pick the right tool for the job. We consider constraint satisfaction paradigms like satisfiability of Boolean formulas and answer set programming, and techniques like symmetry breaking. Our contributions range from theoretical results to practical issues regarding tool applications to combinatorial problems.

We prove search-versus-decision complexity results for problems about backbones and backdoors of Boolean formulas.

We consider applications of constraint satisfaction techniques to problems in graph arrowing (specifically in Ramsey and Folkman theory) and computational social choice. Our contributions show how applying constraint satisfaction techniques to abstract combinatorial problems poses additional challenges. We show how these challenges can be addressed. Additionally, we consider the issue of trusting the results of applying constraint satisfaction techniques to combinatorial problems by relying on verified computations.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Combinatorial optimization; Constraints (Artificial intelligence); Algebra, Boolean

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Computing and Information Sciences (Ph.D.)

Department, Program, or Center

Computer Science (GCCIS)


Edith Hemaspaandra

Advisor/Committee Member

Stanisław Radziszowski

Advisor/Committee Member

Ivona Bezáková


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes