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Worst and Best Irredundant Sum-of-Products Expressions
September 2001 (vol. 50 no. 9)
pp. 935-948

Abstract—In an irredundant sum-of-products expression (ISOP), each product is a prime implicant (PI) and no product can be deleted without changing the function. Among the ISOPs for some function $f$, a worst ISOP (WSOP) is an ISOP with the largest number of PIs and a minimum ISOP (MSOP) is one with the smallest number. We show a class of functions for which the Minato-Morreale ISOP algorithm produces WSOPs. Since the ratio of the size of the WSOP to the size of the MSOP is arbitrarily large when $n$, the number of variables, is unbounded, the Minato-Morreale algorithm can produce results that are very far from minimum. We present a class of multiple-output functions whose WSOP size is also much larger than its MSOP size. For a set of benchmark functions, we show the distribution of ISOPs to the number of PIs. Among this set are functions where the MSOPs have almost as many PIs as do the WSOPs. These functions are known to be easy to minimize. Also, there are benchmark functions where the fraction of ISOPs that are MSOPs is small and MSOPs have many fewer PIs than the WSOPs. Such functions are known to be hard to minimize. For one class of functions, we show that the fraction of ISOPs that are MSOPs approaches 0 as $n$ approaches infinity, suggesting that such functions are hard to minimize.

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Index Terms:
Logic minimization, complete sum-of-products expressions, irredundant sum-of-products, multiple-output functions, heuristic minimization, prime implicants, symmetric functions, minimum sum-of-products expressions, worst sum-of-products expressions, graph enumeration, minimally strongly connected digraphs.
Tsutomu Sasao, Jon T. Butler, "Worst and Best Irredundant Sum-of-Products Expressions," IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 50, no. 9, pp. 935-948, Sept. 2001, doi:10.1109/12.954508
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