Quantified maximum satisfiability

Alexey Ignatiev, Mikoláš Janota, Joao Marques-Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, there have been significant improvements in algorithms both for Quantified Boolean Formulas (QBF) and for Maximum Satisfiability (MaxSAT). This paper studies an optimization extension of QBF and considers the problem in a quantified MaxSAT setting. More precisely, the general QMaxSAT problem is defined for QBFs with a set of soft clausal constraints and consists in finding the largest subset of the soft constraints such that the remaining QBF is true. Two approaches are investigated. One is based on relaxing the soft clauses and performing an iterative search on the cost function. The other approach, which is the main contribution of the paper, is inspired by recent work on MaxSAT, and exploits the iterative identification of unsatisfiable cores. The paper investigates the application of these approaches to the two concrete problems of computing smallest minimal unsatisfiable subformulas (SMUS) and smallest minimal equivalent subformulas (SMES), decision versions of which are well-known problems in the second level of the polynomial hierarchy. Experimental results, obtained on representative problem instances, indicate that the core-guided approach for the SMUS and SMES problems outperforms the use of iterative search over the values of the cost function. More significantly, the core-guided approach to SMUS also outperforms the state-of-the-art SMUS extractor Digger.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-302
Number of pages26
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • MaxSAT
  • Optimization
  • Quantified Boolean formula
  • SAT
  • Smallest MUS/MES

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