2013 Quarter 4

REPORT FROM THE ASSOCIATION FOR CONSTRAINT PROGRAMMING

This is a short summary of activities within the ACP during the months October-December 2013.

The 2013 ACP Executive Committee comprises the following people, in  alphabetical order.

  • Yves Deville
  • Pierre Flener - Conference Coordinator
  • Willem-Jan van Hoeve - Secretary
  • Barry O'Sullivan (ex-officio, non-voting)
  • Thomas Schiex - Treasurer
  • Helmut Simonis - President
  • Guido Tack
  • Roland Yap

The ACP Executive Committee welcomes feedback and suggestions from the ACP community. We encourage you to engage with the ACP-EC to help design new initiatives that promote constraint programming.

  • ACP.1: survey results
  • ACP.2: committee for strategic planning
  • ACP.3: web server and membership update
  • ACP.4: revised Conference Organisation Policy
  • ACP.5: policy for duty of respect and equal opportunity
  • ACP.6: archived memory
  • ACP.7: summer school 2014
  • ACP.8: call for nominations: Distinguished Service Award
  • ACP.9: call for nominations: Doctoral Research Award
  • ACP.10: EC elections
  • ACP.11: CP 2014

ACP.1. Results of the post CP 2013 conference survey

After CP 2013, the Conference Coordinator of the EC ran an ACP Survey on CP Conferences. The survey was sent out to the ACP membership, the Yahoo mailing list, and the CP 2013 attendees. We have compiled a summary of the results of this survey.

ACP.2. ACP committee for strategic planning

The EC believes the ACP has achieved a level of maturity at which it seems appropriate to ensure that the CP research community takes full advantage of the many specific lines of research within our field in order to maximise our impact on science and society. To assist the community in this endeavour, the EC believes that an overall strategic plan would be helpful. Therefore, the EC has established a committee focused on strategic planning, whose goal is to, in consultation with the CP community:

  • reflect upon achievements to date;
  • identify a core mission;
  • define a set of values and objectives for the future;
  • develop a strategy to help guide the community to achieve them;
  • propose a set of metrics to measure our performance at meeting those objectives;
  • produce a reference document reporting on the above.

Membership of the Committee.

The EC delegates the following people to build this committee, from other stakeholder entities and research communities:

  • Barry O'Sullivan (University College Cork, Ireland)
  • Francesca Rossi (University of Padova, Italy)
  • Pascal Van Hentenryck (NICTA, Australia)
  • Pierre Flener (Uppsala University, Sweden), as ACP EC representative

Timeframe.

The committee was established in Q4 of 2013. A consultation process will take place during Q1 of 2014. A preliminary document will be made available in Q2 of 2014, with a follow-up period for comment and feedback. A final version of the strategic plan will be presented at CP 2014, with possible motions to be voted on at the ACP General Assembly.

ACP.3. ACP web server and membership update

As many of you may have experienced, the ACP website proved unreliable in the last year. Therefore, the EC decided that the website be placed on a dedicated server. This turned out to be a challenging task, but Guido Tack (with help of Peter MacHale) has been able to successfully establish this. Many thanks Guido!

In the process, Guido also revised and upgraded the electronic membership service. Membership renewal and reminder emails should now work again. Also, the renewal process itself has been updated. When members you renew after the 1st of September, their membership is extended until December 31st of the following year. This allows to ask people to renew when registering for the CP conference, without having to renew again only three months later. The EC hopes that this will make the ACP membership more transparent.

ACP.4. - Revision of the CP Conference Organisation Policy

The EC has established a revised and updated version of the CP Conference Organisation Policy. The motivation for this was to provide clarifications and update the description to the current and expected future practise, with the overall goal to better serve future conference organisers. The new policy can be found at the ACP website: http://www.a4cp.org/events/conference-organisation-policy

We thank the Conference Coordinator (Pierre Flener) for preparing the revisions.

ACP.5. - Policy for duty of respect and equal opportunity

The EC has discussed and installed a policy for duty of respect and equal opportunity to be observed during the activities of the ACP. The text can be found below, and will be appended to the Manual of Policies and Procedures.

Duty of Respect:

The ACP is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone at its events (conferences, summer schools, etc.), regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, or religion. The ACP enforces a duty of respect policy, even before or after the event. In case of problems, the event organisers may take any actions they deem appropriate.

Equal Opportunity:

The ACP is dedicated to providing an equal opportunity of attending its events (conferences, summer schools, etc.) and favours venues with wheelchair accessibility. If you have an accepted paper at an ACP event or your application for participation has been accepted, but you are in a difficult or disadvantaged position that jeopardises your participation, then contact the local organisers of the event. Examples are the provision of childcare during the event, crosschecks on the wheelchair accessibility of the event venues and hotels, as well as financial assistance for the registration and accommodation, and possibly travel, of a PhD student in a difficult financial situation.

ACP.6. - Archived memory of CP conferences and ACP summer school organization

The Conference Coordinator (Pierre Flener) has coordinated the update and extension of the existing ACP corporate memory on how to organise CP conferences and ACP summer schools:

  • Advice to CP Conference Chairs (initialised by the CP 2012 conference chairs, extended by the CP 2013 ones).
  • Advice to CP Doctoral Programme Chairs (initialised by the CP 2013 DP chairs).
  • Advice to CP Workshop & Tutorial Chairs (initialised by the CP 2013 W&T chair), including information (not all of which is online) on all workshops and tutorial from CP 2012 on.
  • Sponsorship contacts tried, and sponsorship amounts pledged, from CP 2011 on.
  • Statistics on participant numbers (of each category) and registration fees (for each category), from CP 2010 on.
  • Information (not all of which is online) on all ACP summer schools.

These documents are made available to, and are to be updated by, the relevant chairs of every year.

In this process, two disappeared ACP summer school webpages were salvaged and are now archived on the new ACP server (a4cp.org), even with the so far unpublished slides used at one of them. Further, a disappeared CP conference website was salvaged and is now archived on the new ACP server, which now points to web.archive.org for other disappeared CP conference websites. Many thanks to Guido Tack. The relevant websites are:

The Conference Coordinator wishes to thank all the people who kindly helped him in this process: Krzysztof Apt, Stefano Bistarelli, Mats Carlsson, Witold Charatonik, Chris Mears, Laurent Michel, Angela Miguel, Ian Miguel, Nina Naroditskaya, Justin Pearson, Gilles Pesant, Karen Petrie, Claude-Guy Quimper, Louis-Martin Rousseau, Christian Schulte, Christine Solnon, and Guido Tack; apologies to anyone forgotten here.

ACP.7. - ACP Summer School 2014

The EC is happy to announce that the upcoming ACP Summer School will take place in Bologna, Italy, in June 2014. The organizers are Alessio Bonfietti, Michele Lombardi, and Pierre Schaus. The topic of the summer school is "Practical Constraint Programming", that is, CP methods that deal with real world problems.

ACP.8. Call for Nominations: for the ACP Distinguished Service Award 2014

The Executive Committee of the ACP invites nominations for the 2014 ACP award for Distinguished Service to the Constraint Programming Community, which will be presented at CP 2014 in Lyon, France. The purpose of this award is to celebrate those CP community members who have made exceptional contributions to the CP community. Areas of service could include, but are not limited to: association service, service as an editor, conference organisation, representation of CP in other organizations, etc, resulting in positive effects on the field of CP. The recipient of this award will have the costs of his/her participation at the CP conference covered by the ACP.

The official call for nominations will be circulated soon.

Past winners of this award can be found at: http://www.a4cp.org/awards/distinguished-service-award

ACP.9. Call for Nominations: for the ACP Doctoral Research Award 2014

The Executive Committee of the ACP invites nominations for the 2014 ACP Doctoral Research Award, which will be presented at CP 2014 in Lyon, France. The ACP Doctoral Research Award is awarded every year to a promising young researcher working in the area of constraint programming and who defended his/her thesis between January and December of the previous two years.

The official call for nominations will be circulated soon.

Past winners of this award can be found at: http://www.a4cp.org/awards/doctoral-research-award

ACP.10. ACP EC Elections in 2014

This year there will be additional elections to replace those EC members whose terms will expire at the end of this year. A formal call for nominations will be circulated soon, but in the meantime please consider the names of those you think would be suitable for the ACP EC.

ACP.11. CP 2014

The CP 2014 conference will be held in Lyon, France. The Conference Chairs are Yves Deville and Christine Solnon. The program chair is Barry O'Sullivan (University College Cork, Ireland). You can find more information about the conference on its web site: http://cp2014.a4cp.org.