Model Counting meets F0 Estimation


Constraint satisfaction problems (CSPs) and data stream models are two powerful abstractions to capture a wide variety of problems arising in different domains of computer science. Developments in the two communities have mostly occurred independently and with little interaction between them. In this work, we seek to investigate whether bridging the seeming communication gap between the two communities may pave the way to richer fundamental insights. To this end, we focus on two foundational problems: model counting for CSPs and computation of zeroth frequency moments $(F_0)$ for data streams. Our investigations lead us to observe striking similarity in the core techniques employed in the algorithmic frameworks that have evolved separately for model counting and $F_0$ computation. We design a recipe for translation of algorithms developed for $F_0$ estimation to that of model counting, resulting in new algorithms for model counting. We then observe that algorithms in the context of distributed streaming can be transformed to distributed algorithms for model counting. We next turn our attention to viewing streaming from the lens of counting and show that framing $F_0$ estimation as a special case of #DNF counting allows us to obtain a general recipe for a rich class of streaming problems, which had been subjected to case-specific analysis in prior works. In particular, our view yields a state-of-the art algorithm for multidimensional range efficient $F_0$ estimation with a simpler analysis.

In ACM Symposium on Principles of Database Systems (PODS)