A mathematical approach to the Boolean minimization problem


Any minimization problem involves a computer algorithm. Many such algorithms have been developed for the boolean minimizations, in diverse areas from computer science to social sciences (with the famous QCA algorithm). For a small number of entries (causal conditions in the QCA) any such algorithm will find a minimal solution, especially with the aid of the modern computers. However, for a large number of conditions a quick and complete solution is not easy to find using an algorithmic approach, due to the extremely large space of possible combinations to search in. In this article I will demonstrate a simple alternative solution, a mathematical method to obtain all possible minimized prime implicants. This method is not only easier to understand than other complex algorithms, but it proves to be a faster method to obtain an exact and complete boolean solution.

In Quality & Quantity



Keywords: Qualitative Comparative Analysis, Boolean minimization, Computer algorithms, Small-N research