[Distutils] GSoC 2017 - Working on pip

David Cournapeau cournape at gmail.com
Fri Feb 10 16:58:15 EST 2017

On Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 4:28 PM, Justin Cappos <jcappos at nyu.edu> wrote:

> So, there aren't "heuristics" to tweak here.  The algorithm just encodes
> the rules for trying package combinations (usually, latest version first)
> and then backtracks to a previous point when an unresolvable conflict is
> found.

> This is quite different from something like a SAT solver where it does use
> heuristics to come up with a matching scenario quickly.
> I don't think developers need to tweak heuristics in either case.  You
> just pick your SAT solver and it has reasonable heuristics built in, right?

Right, so there are 2 set of heuristics: the heuristics to make SAT solvers
more efficient, and heuristics to make it more useful as a dependency
resolution algorithm. I am only interested in the 2nd set of heuristics

So for SAT solvers at least, you need heuristics to tweak the search space
toward something more likely solutions (from a dependency POV). E.g.
composer will favor already installed packages if they match the problem.
That's also why it is rather hard to use a SAT solver as a black box and
then wrap it to resolve dependencies, and you instead want to have access
to the SAT solver "internals".

Don't you need the same kind of heuristics to make backtracking actually
useful ?

I agree comparing on actual problems is the best way to move this
discussion forward, to compare speed, solution quality, feasibility in
pip's/pypi context. If you have access to "scenarios", I would be happy to
run our own SAT solver on it to compare solver's output.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mail.python.org/pipermail/distutils-sig/attachments/20170210/160fa033/attachment.html>

More information about the Distutils-SIG mailing list