[1208.0526] Optimization hardness as transient chaos in an analog approach to constraint satisfaction:
"Boolean satisfiability  (k-SAT) is one of the most studied optimization problems, as an efficient (that is, polynomial-time) solution to k-SAT (for k≥3) implies efficient solutions to a large number of hard optimization problems [2,3]. Here we propose a mapping of k-SAT into a deterministic continuous-time dynamical system with a unique correspondence between its attractors and the k-SAT solution clusters. We show that beyond a constraint density threshold, the analog trajectories become transiently chaotic [4-7], and the boundaries between the basins of attraction  of the solution clusters become fractal [7-9], signaling the appearance of optimization hardness . Analytical arguments and simulations indicate that the system always finds solutions for satisfiable formulae even in the frozen regimes of random 3-SAT  and of locked occupation problems  (considered among the hardest algorithmic benchmarks); a property partly due to the system's hyperbolic [4,13] character. The system finds solutions in polynomial continuous-time, however, at the expense of exponential fluctuations in its energy function."
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