Title:

Anytime algorithms for ROBDD symmetry detection and approximation

Reduced Ordered Binary Decision Diagrams (ROBDDs) provide a dense and memory efficient representation of Boolean functions. When ROBDDs are applied in logic synthesis, the problem arises of detecting both classical and generalised symmetries. Stateoftheart in symmetry detection is represented by Mishchenko's algorithm. Mishchenko showed how to detect symmetries in ROBDDs without the need for checking equivalence of all cofactor pairs. This work resulted in a practical algorithm for detecting all classical symmetries in an ROBDD in O(G³) set operations where G is the number of nodes in the ROBDD. Mishchenko and his colleagues subsequently extended the algorithm to find generalised symmetries. The extended algorithm retains the same asymptotic complexity for each type of generalised symmetry. Both the classical and generalised symmetry detection algorithms are monolithic in the sense that they only return a meaningful answer when they are left to run to completion. In this thesis we present efficient anytime algorithms for detecting both classical and generalised symmetries, that output pairs of symmetric variables until a prescribed time bound is exceeded. These anytime algorithms are complete in that given sufficient time they are guaranteed to find all symmetric pairs. Theoretically these algorithms reside in O(n³+nG+G³) and O(n³+n²G+G³) respectively, where n is the number of variables, so that in practice the advantage of anytime generality is not gained at the expense of efficiency. In fact, the anytime approach requires only very modest data structure support and offers unique opportunities for optimisation so the resulting algorithms are very efficient. The thesis continues by considering another class of anytime algorithms for ROBDDs that is motivated by the dearth of work on approximating ROBDDs. The need for approximation arises because many ROBDD operations result in an ROBDD whose size is quadratic in the size of the inputs. Furthermore, if ROBDDs are used in abstract interpretation, the running time of the analysis is related not only to the complexity of the individual ROBDD operations but also the number of operations applied. The number of operations is, in turn, constrained by the number of times a Boolean function can be weakened before stability is achieved. This thesis proposes a widening that can be used to both constrain the size of an ROBDD and also ensure that the number of times that it is weakened is bounded by some given constant. The widening can be used to either systematically approximate an ROBDD from above (i.e. derive a weaker function) or below (i.e. infer a stronger function). The thesis also considers how randomised techniques may be deployed to improve the speed of computing an approximation by avoiding potentially expensive ROBDD manipulation.
