This training file will explain when a situation looks like it could use a constraint, as well as help determine which constraint is right for your plan.

Invalid Pair

Whenever you generate a plan, ask yourself if two values absolutely cannot appear together. These two would form an impossible-to-exist combination of values. Let's look at an example below.

With these inputs in mind, an invalid pair would be perfect to prevent  'Add Hotel Reservation = Add hotel' and 'Type of Hotel = N/A (skip - no hotel reservation)' from appearing together as seen below when viewing the Constraints screen.

Another method is to generate many invalid pairs to make sure that a value won't appear with many other values of a parameter. Let's use the same inputs.

It doesn't make sense if 'Add a Hotel = Do not add a hotel' ever paired with 'Type of Hotel = 3-Star.' As a matter of fact, would it make sense for 'Add a Hotel = Do not add a hotel' to be paired with anything from the 'Type of Hotel' parameter? Only one value makes sense - 'Type of Hotel = N/A (skip - no hotel reservation).' Let's invalidate all of the hotels from pairing with 'Add a Hotel = Do not add a hotel.'

If you have a large number of invalid pairs and one particular value is included again and again in those invalid pairs, it might be a better idea to use a married pair instead of using the invalid pairs feature multiple times.

Uni-directional Married Pair

Considering these inputs, 'Shipping Option = Next Day' should only pair with 'Destination = Domestic' and not 'Destination = International' (although that would be an incredible feat in reality). In other words, you can only ship for the next day if the destination is domestic. 'Destination = Domestic' can still have 'Shipping Option = Within 1 week' and 'Shipping Option = Within 2 weeks.'

As you can see to the left side of the image, 'Shipping Option = Next Day' will only pair with 'Destination = Domestic' when considering these two parameters. The values 'Shipping Option = Within 1 week' and 'Shipping Option = Within 2 weeks' are still able to pair with 'Destination = Domestic' as normal.

Reverse Uni-directional Married Pair

In this example, 'Type of Animal = Cat' can have more than one value from the 'Breed of Animal' prarameter. They are 'Breed of Animal = Siamese,' and 'Breed of Animal = Persian.'

After creating the pair, the left side of the Constraints screen will indicate that 'Breed of Animal = Persian' must appear with 'Type of Animal = Cat.' This also means that 'Type of Animal = Cat' may still pair with 'Breed of Animal = Siamese,' 'Breed of Animal = Shiba Inu,' and 'Breed of Animal = Golden Retriever' as normal. We must still account for the dog breeds when considering 'Type of Animal = Cat.' 'Type of Animal = Dog' may not, however, appear with 'Breed of Animal = Persian.'

The only difference between a uni-directional and a reverse uni-directional married pair is which parameter appears higher than the other. A normal uni-directional married pair will create a constraint such that every time the “higher” value appears in a test, the only valid value to appear with it is the “lower” selected value. A reverse uni-directional married pair will create a constraint such that every time the “lower” value appears in a test, the only valid value to appear with it is the “higher” selected value. 

Bi-directional Married Pair

This type of married pair is the most common. It makes it so two values may only ever appear together.

A bi-directional married pair is the simplest type of married pair think about. Two values in this type of pair may only appear together. In the example above, 'Book Format = Digital’ will only every appear with 'Delivery Option = Email (Digital)' and vice-versa. That means:

  • 'Book Format = Digital’ will never appear in the same test with....'Delivery Option = Next Day,' nor 'Delivery Option = 2-3 Day.'
  • Similarly, 'Delivery Option = Email (Digital)' will never appear in a test with 'Book Format = Physical.’
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