BDD variable order

Internally, data-based synthesis represents predicates using Binary Decision Diagrams (BDDs). CIF variables and automata are represented using one or more boolean variables (also called BDD variables or bits). For instance, a boolean CIF variable is represented using a single boolean/BDD variable, and a CIF variable of type int[0..8] is represented using four boolean/BDD variables (9 possible values, log2(9) ≈ 3.17). For each automaton with two or more locations, a location pointer variable is created, that represents the current or active location of that automaton. For instance, an automaton with three locations is represented using two boolean/BDD variables. Two boolean/BDD variables can represent 22 = 4 values, so one value is not used.

The CIF variables and location pointer variables for the automata (together called synthesis variables) can be ordered. This ordering can significantly influence the performance of synthesis. Synthesis variables that have a higher influence on the result of predicates (simply put, occur more frequently in predicates) should generally be put earlier in the ordering. Furthermore, in general, strongly related synthesis variables (e.g. by comparison, integer computation, or assignment) should be kept closely together in the order. For two synthesis variables x and y, examples of predicates that introduce relations are x = y (by comparison) and 5 < x + y (by integer computation), and examples of assignments that introduce relations are x := y and x := y + 1 (both by assignment).

In certain cases, it is not only possible to order the BDD variables per synthesis variable, but also to interleave the BDD/boolean variables of some synthesis variables. This can significantly influence the performance of synthesis. Generally, strongly related synthesis variables should be interleaved.

For each CIF variable and location pointer, two synthesis variables are created, one storing the old/current value (before a transition), and one storing the new value (after a transition). For a single CIF variable or location pointer, the old and new synthesis variables are always kept together, and interleaved. The old synthesis variable is also always before the new synthesis variable.

For more information on variable ordering and its influence on performance, see Chapter 3 of [Minato (1996)].

The following additional information is available on variable ordering configuration through options: