International Journal of Mathematical, Engineering and Management Sciences

ISSN: 2455-7749

Utilization of Karnaugh Maps in Multi-Value Qualitative Comparative Analysis

Ali Muhammad Ali Rushdi
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, King Abdulaziz University, P. O. Box 80204, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia.


Received on December 08, 2016
Accepted on February 08, 2017


A recent debate in the literature of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) concerns the potentials and pitfalls of the multi-value variant (mvQCA) in comparison with the more established crisp-set QCA (csQCA) and fuzzy-set QCA (fsQCA) variants. So far, the mvQCA methodology has been implemented either algebraically or via specific software tools such as TOSMANA. The main goal of this paper is to enhance the mvQCA methodology through the utilization of several varieties of Karnaugh maps including (a) the Conventional Karnaugh Map (CKM), (b) the Multi-Valued Karnaugh Map (MVKM), and (c) the Variable-Entered Karnaugh Map (VEKM). The paper offers a tutorial exposition of each of these maps in terms of two recently-published problems concerning the legal provision (introduction) and implementation of party bans in sub-Saharan Africa. Results obtained via various map techniques agree exactly among themselves, and are generally more compact than those obtained earlier via elementary algebraic manipulations, or even via software tools. We show, by way of example, that coding multi-valued variables by binary ones has a harmful primary effect of increasing the input domain. This effect is partially counterbalanced by a (contrarily to common belief) beneficial secondary effect of introducing genuine don’t-care configurations. We also address the issue of unresolved contradictory configurations, and propose two strategies to cope with them. The maps used tackle seven binary variables (or their equivalent), a number beyond the typical map limit of six variables. They are used to produce not only the minimal sum of a Boolean function but the complete sum as well. Though this paper is basically intended as a contribution to mvQCA methodology, it is also of significant utility in any field that demands the use of the Karnaugh map. It serves as a unification/exposition of three fundamental variants of the map, and has a definite pedagogical advantage for the wide spectrum of map users.

Keywords- Multi-value qualitative comparative analysis, Conventional Karnaugh map, Multi-valued Karnaugh map, Variable-entered Karnaugh map, Prime implicants, Minimal sum, Complete sum.


Rushdi, A. M. A. (2018). Utilization of Karnaugh Maps in Multi-Value Qualitative Comparative Analysis. International Journal of Mathematical, Engineering and Management Sciences, 3(1), 28-46.

Conflict of Interest



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