Many artificial intelligence (AI) tasks, such as product configuration, decision support, and the construction of autonomous agents, involve a process of constrained optimization, that is, optimization of behavior or choices subject to given constraints. In this paper we present an approach for constrained optimization based on a set of hard constraints and a preference ordering represented using a CP-network - a graphical model for representing qualitative preference information. This approach offers both pragmatic and computational advantages. First, it provides a convenient and intuitive tool for specifying the problem, and in particular, the decision maker's preferences. Second, it admits an algorithm for finding the most preferred feasible (Pareto-optimal) outcomes that has the following anytime property: the set of preferred feasible outcomes are enumerated without backtracking. In particular, the first feasible solution generated by this algorithm is Pareto optimal.
- Graphical models