This patent has been approved. Tacton now has two patents.
Description of the patent:
A configuration problem may be represented and solved as a Constraint Satisfaction Problem (CSP) (ref our previous patent). However a CSP may require exponential time to solve and requires the number of variables to be known beforehand.
The object of the invention is to provide a method and a program module for decomposing the problem into smaller sub problems and allowing sub problems to have variable number of variables in a way that is natural for the end-user and the modeller. Thereby allowing larger problems to be solved and relaxing the need of knowing the number of variables beforehand.
This is done by using a modelling language specialized for configuration instead of modelling directly as a CSP.
The modelling language allows for defining a description of the configuration problem and also how it should be executed and decomposed.
The decomposition is done by defining a sequence of steps.
Each step is associated with a part of the configuration problem and during execution an appropriate CSP will be built.