In the context of constraint satisfaction problems (CSP, a field of Artificial Intelligence), a constraint is a set of tuples that denotes valid combinations of values for some of the variables of the problem.

Constraints can be given explicitly, as a set of tuples, or in other forms, such as a formula or a function that determines if a given assignment of values satisfies the constraint.

Con*straint" (?), n. [OF. constrainte, F. constrainte.]

The act of constraining, or the state of being constrained; that which compels to, or restrains from, action; compulsion; restraint; necessity.

Long imprisonment and hard constraint. Spenser.

Not by constraint, but b my choice, I came. Dryden.

Syn. -- Compulsion; violence; necessity; urgency. -- Constraint, Compulsion. Constraint implies strong binding force; as, the constraint of necessity; the constraint of fear. Compulsion implies the exertion of some urgent impelling force; as, driven by compulsion. The former prevents us from acting agreeably to our wishes; the latter forces us to act contrary to our will. Compulsion is always produced by some active agent; a constraint may be laid upon us by the forms of civil society, or by other outward circumstances.

Crabb.

 

© Webster 1913.

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