Algorithm for minimum number of partitions to transform list of sets into Laminar Set Family

I have a list of sets $$L$$. I want to partition the sets in $$L$$ to produce a new list $$L'$$ that is a Laminar Set Family

Concretely:

For any $$L'_i, L'_j \in L'$$ if $$L'_i \not\subseteq L'_j$$ and $$L'_j \not\subseteq L'_i$$ then $$L'_i \cap L'_j \equiv \varnothing$$.

I want a minimal length $$L'$$ (which is equivalent to saying I want to perform the fewest of partitions of sets in $$L$$). Note that this is a list of sets, not a set of sets, so duplicates do count against the optimization objective.

As a concrete example, if $$L = [\{a\},\{b,c\},\{a,b,c\},\{a,c,d\}]$$ then the minimal $$L' = [\{a\},\{b\},\{c\},\{a,b,c\},\{a,c\},\{d\}]$$ formed by partitioning $$\{b,c\}$$ into $$\{b\},\{c\}$$, and $$\{a,c,d\}$$ into $$\{a,c\},\{d\}$$.

The list $$L'' = [\{a\},\{b,c\},\{a\},\{b,c\},\{a\},\{c\},\{d\}]$$ is not a minimal solution even though it has fewer unique sets, because it has a larger number of total sets.

EDIT2: This is a sub-problem of the following problem that came up in my work. This is an original problem of which I have not found any previous statement.

We have a directed-hyper-forest $$F$$. Each node $$v$$ has a set of values $$S_v$$ associated with it. Each hyper-edge $$e: v \rightarrow C_e$$ is labeled with a non-strict subset of the values of it's parent $$S_v$$, (call it $$S_e$$).

For a value $$s \in S_v$$, we say the adjacency set of an "assignment" of $$s$$ to $$v$$, $$C_s$$ is the union over all $$C_e$$, where $$s \in S_e$$.

An assignment of values to nodes $$A$$ contains at most one $$(s, v) \in (S_v, F)$$ pair for each $$v \in F$$. We call an assignment $$A$$ valid if for any node value pair $$(s, v)$$, an assignment exists for a child $$c$$ of $$v$$ if and only if $$c \in C_s$$.

Now the actual problem: how can I convert $$F$$ to some (minimal, non-hyper) finite state machine $$G$$ such that any node in $$g \in G$$ is "labeled" with exactly one $$v$$, and has transitions that are a non-strict-subset of $$S_v$$.

This FSM must also have the property that for any valid assignment $$A$$, we can traverse $$G$$ using the choices in $$A$$, and see exactly one node $$g$$ "labeled" with $$v$$ for each $$v$$ with an assignment in $$A$$. In other words, some permutation of $$A$$ must be a valid traversal of $$G$$ by replacing each $$v \in A$$ with some $$g$$ that is labeled with $$v$$.

How does this relate to the problem I mentioned above? Well if we can split the children of $$v$$ into a laminar set family based on the hyper edges connecting them to $$v$$, then we can build a FSM where transitions follow containment, then we can make transitions from $$v$$ on a single value $$s$$ to the minimal set containing $$s$$, and be sure that after following all the containment transitions we will never traverse a node that does not contain s. We can use this to recursively build up a FSM with our desired property. This is just one such approach but I'm happy to discuss others.

EDIT: In an earlier revision I provided a wrong algorithm. Deleting it for brevity.

• So, do you want an efficient provably-correct algorithm OR wanna improve and finish your algorithm? – Thinh D. Nguyen Nov 1 '18 at 0:47
• I want a provably correct algorithm. Don't care so much about efficiency, since the lists involved are fairly small (an $O(n^n!)$ algorithm would be a problem, but not e.g. something exponential). I do care deeply about the length of $L'$ so I want to know I'm getting the shortest $L'$ possible. Whether or not you improve on my algorithm or not is a matter of how close I am to a good solution. I don't know if my hunch is correct or not. – Eli Bixby Nov 1 '18 at 0:50
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• It is particular important to check whether we have missed a more basic, or more important, or more interesting question, before people should spend time in answering a seemingly big question. – Apass.Jack Nov 3 '18 at 18:23
• @Apass.Jack I've added the full problem I'm trying to solve for context. Perhaps there is some solution to the full problem that does not involve trying to solve the subproblem I have mentioned, but I would be surprised by that. – Eli Bixby Nov 5 '18 at 18:42