Volume 0, Number 3, October 2004

Constraint Programming News

volume 0, number 3, Oct 2004

Jimmy Lee (events, career news)
Eric Monfroy (profiles, publications)
Toby Walsh (news, reports)


  • news: CP elections
  • publications: PhD theses, recent books, special issues, new online journals
  • events: forthcoming conferences and workshops
  • career news: postdoc position
  • reports: ECAI 2004 workshop on modelling and solving with constraints
  • profiles: AFPC/JFPC


Welcome to the third number of CP News, an initiative of the CP organizing committee. We aim to provide a comprehensive summary of important news in the area of constraint programming. The newsletter will be published quarterly in January, April, July, and October. Please email the relevant editor with any news, event, report or profile you want published. To subscribe, please register here.

Each year, the CP community elects two new members to serve on the CP organizing committe. The committee decides the venue of the annual CP conference, program and conference chairs, and supports activities like the doctoral programme, summer schools, this newsletter, etc. Following the election this summer, Michela Milano and Jean-Francois Puget have been elected. The full committee therefore consists of Krzysztof Apt, Fahiem Bacchus, Christian Bessiere, James Bowen, Michela Milano, Jean Francois Puget, Francesca Rossi, Peter Van Beek, Mark Wallace and Toby Walsh. Full results are available here.


PhD theses:

W. Ouaja, "Integrating Lagrangian Relaxation and Constraint Programming for Multicommodity Network Routing", IC-Parc, Imperial College London, UK, June 2004.

Recent books

K.R. Apt, F. Fages, F. Rossi, P. Szeredi and J. Vancza (editors). Recent Advances in Constraints, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 3010, Springer (2004), vii + 284 pages.

Stefano Bistarelli. Semirings for Soft Constraint Solving and Programming, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2962, Springer-Verlag, xii + 279 pages, 2004

Francisco Azevedo. Constraint Solving over Multi-valued Logics - Application to Digital Circuits, vol 91 of Frontiers of Artificial Intelligence and Applications, ISBN: 1 58603 304 2, IOS Press, xviii + 204 pages, 2003.

Special issues:

SAT 2005. Special issue of the Journal of Automated Reasoning devoted to recent progress in propositional satisfiability. Guest Editors: Enrico Giunchiglia and Toby Walsh. Submission deadline, 1st Nov 2005.

Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing Special Issue. November 2006, Vol.20 No.4. Edited by: Barry O'Sullivan Submission deadline 3 October 2005.

New online journals:

Logical Methods in Computer Science, Editor-in-Chief Dana S. Scott, 2004. Editorial board includes Rina Dechter, Georg Gottlob, Henry Kautz, Peter Stuckey and Toby Walsh.

Theory and Practice of Logic Programming (TPLP) is now free and online. If you are a TPLP author, you might recall that the Cambridge University Press has agreed that the accepted versions of the TPLP submissions are posted in the Computing Research Repository (CoRR).

We are happy to inform you that thanks to this provision we now have a free online version of TPLP that also includes all book reviews published in TPLP. The online version can also be reached through the home page of the Association for Logic Programming in Leuven.

We would like to thank Qiu Jiang, a student at the National University of Singapore, for creating the website and adding to CoRR the accepted versions of the `missing' papers. We hope that this small contribution of the logic programming community will inspire others in promoting a free access to scientific literature. We plan to maintain this free online version of TPLP and appeal to prospective TPLP authors to keep helping us in this endevour.

Krzysztof Apt, Maurice Bruynooghe and Bart Demoen.


CP 2004, Tenth International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming, 27 September - 1 October 2004, Toronto, Canada.
MOZ 2004, Second International Mozart/Oz Conference (MOZ 2004). 7-8 Oct, 2004, Charleroi, Belgium. Paper submission deadline: 16 July.
Fourth EU/ME Workshop Design and Evaluation of Advanced Hybrid Meta-heuristics. 3-4 November 2004, Nottingham, UK.
ICTAI 2004, The 16th IEEE International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence. November 15-17, 2004, Boca Raton, Florida.
AI200, The 17th Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. December 6 - 10, 2004, Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
ASIAN'04, Ninth Asian Computing Science Conference. December 8-10, 2004, Chiangmai University, Chiangmai, Thailand.
PlanSIG2004, The 23rd Workshop of the UK PLANNING AND SCHEDULING Special Interest Group. December 20-21, 2004, Cork Constraint Computation Centre, University College Cork, Ireland. Paper submission deadline: 7th October 2004.
ICS2005, The Ninth INFORMS Computing Society Conference---THE NEXT WAVE IN COMPUTING, OPTIMIZATION, AND DECISION TECHNOLOGIES. January 5-7, 2005, Annapolis, Maryland USA.
PADL 05, Seventh International Symposium on Practical Aspects of Declarative Languages 2005 (co-located with ACM POPL 2005). January 10-11, 2005, Long Beach, California, USA.
W(C)LP 2005, 19th Workshop on (Constraint) Logic Programming. 21-25 February, 2005, University Ulm, Germany. Paper submission deadline: November 14, 2004.
CSP 2005: Track on Constraint Solving and Programming part of the 20th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing SAC'2005 Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 13 -17, 2005.
Special Track on Constraint Solving and Programming, a technical track of the 18th International FLAIRS Conference, 2005). May 16-18, 2005, Clearwater Beach, Florida, USA. Paper submission deadline: October 22, 2004.
CP-AI-OR 2005, International Conference on Integration of AI and OR Techniques in Constraint Programming for Combinatorial Optimization Problems, Prague, Czech Republic. May 30 - June 1, 2005
ICAPS 2005, International Conference on Automated Planning & Scheduling, June 5 - 10, 2005, Monterey, California, USA. Papers dues on 15 November, 2004. Workshop proposals due on 1 October, 2004 Tutorial proposals due on 15 December, 2004 Software demos due on 21 March, 2005. (Competition in Engineering for Planning)
SAT-2005, Eighth International Conference on Theory and Applications of Satisfiability Testing (co-located with 2005 SAT SOLVER COMPETITION and 2005 QBF SOLVER EVALUATION). June 19-23 2005, St Andrews, Scotland. Paper submission deadline: February 20, 2005.
IJCAI-05, Nineteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. 30 July-5 August 2005, Edinburgh, Scotland. Paper submission deadline: February 1, 2005.
MOZ 2004, Second International Mozart/Oz Conference (MOZ 2004). 7-8 Oct, 2004, Charleroi, Belgium. Paper submission deadline: 16 July, 2004.
CP 2005, 11th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming, October 1-5 2005, Sitges, Spain. Co-located with ICLP and an annular eclipse. Program chair: Peter van Beek. Conference chairs: Pedro Meseguer and Javier Larrosa.

Career news

Postdoc Position in the Frame of the Theorema Project

The new Radon Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics (RICAM) of the Austrian Academy of Science in Linz, Austria, offers a postdoc position in the frame of the Theorema Project.

The Theorema Project aims at creating a system that supports the entire process of Mathematical Theory Exploration (inventing mathematical concepts, inventing and verifying propositions, inventing mathematical problems, inventing and verifying algorithms, building up and manipulating structured mathematical knowledge bases etc.).

Prerequisites: PhD in mathematics or computer science; expertise or, at least, interest in computational mathematics, computational logic, and software development.

Applications (CV, publication list etc.) should be sent to the Theorema project leader: Professor Bruno Buchberger, buchberger@risc.uni-linz.ac.at


ECAI 2004 workshop on Modelling and Solving Problems with Constraints. 20 August 2004. Report by: Brahim Hnich.

14 papers were accepted, but only 11 could be scheduled for presentation given the time constraints. There were five sessions: non-binary constraints and propagation algorithms, search, uncertainty, extensions, and applications. There were more than 30 participants.

Two papers were on non-binary constraints and propagation algorithms. The first paper by Javier Larosa and Emma Rollon introduces adaptive consistency with capacity constraints while the second by Christian Bessiere and Romauld Debruyne presents an analysis of singleton arc consistency. The three papers on search covered issues ranging from measuring the search effort by Christian Bessiere, Bruno Zanuttini, and Cesar Fernandez, to studying the effect of value ordering for finding all solutions by Barbara Smith and Paula Sturdy, to techniques that exploit interchangeability during search presented by Steve Prestwich. Two papers on uncertainty were presented. Alan Holland and Barry O'Sullivan presented their work on finding robust solutions for combinatorial auctions, while Robert St-Aubin and Alan K. Mackworth's paper introduced a formal framework based on probabilistic constraint nets to model uncertain dynamical systems.

Three extensions to the classical framework were presented. Handling preferences was the concern of the paper by Steve Prestwich, Francesca Rossi, Kristen Brent Venable, and Toby Walsh on Constrained CP-nets. Solving over-constrained problems with MAX-SAT algorithms was presented by Josep Argelich and filip Manya, while T. K. Satish Kumar work focused on geometric CSPs with (near)-linear domains and max distance constraints. In addition, a number of interesting applications were covered by a number of papers. Michael Marte's paper presents a constraint-based approach to school timetabling. Peter Gregory, Alice Miller, and Patrick Prosser compare solving a rehearsal problem using constraint programming, planning and model checking. Alan Holland and Barry O'Sullivan propose a constraint-based approach to flexible generalized vickrey auctions. Finally, Roman Bartak describes generators of random quasigroup problems.

There was also an invited talk. Hermann Schichl talked about Mathematical Modeling and Modeling Languages. There was also a panel on getting your research taken up by industry. The panellists were Esther Gelle from ABB (Switzerland), Rob Milne from Intelligent Applications (UK), and Marty Plotkin from Oracle Corporation (USA). Among other topics, the panel covered issues such as software patents, staring up your own business, getting the industry interested in your research, etc. The workshop proceedings are available online at workshop web page.



June 21, 2004: in Angers, France, the French Association for Constraint Programming is created. This is a significant step for the French constraint programming community. Let us get back in time.

June, 1998: in Nantes, France, for the first time the two national conferences dealing with constraint programming are held in the same place.

On the one hand, the yearly JFPLC (French-speaking days on Logic and Contraint Programming) organized by the AFPL (French Association for Logic Programming) founded in 1995 and which became AFPLC (French Association for Logic Programmign and Constraint Programming) in 1998. The thirteenth edition took place this year in Angers, France.

On the other hand, the JNPC (National days on practically solving NP-complete problems) originating from a national working group on artificial intelligence. This yearly conference was the natural meeting of all french people working on solving complex problems. It was informally managed by a steering committee very similar in its management to the CPOC. Its tenth edition took place this year in Angers, France.

Since 1998, holding the two conference in one place helped strengthen the relations between the members of the two communities, because of the similarity of the handled problems and the used techniques. The question of merging the two conferences arose quite naturally.

The idea of a unique association managing the activities of the two groups (AFPLC/JFPLC + JNPC) has been implemented this year. From this merging of the two groups emerges a new unique (french-speaking international) conference : JFPC (French-speaking days on Constraint Programming)

The main objective of JFPC is to let french-speaking specialists, share ideas and publish in their mother tongue. However, any interested person, whatever his language is, is warmly welcome.

The evolution of the constraint programming community in France can be historically formulated as: AFPLC/JFPCL + JNPC = AFPC/JFPC

The official aim of the new "young" association is now gathering all people interested, professionnaly or not, in constraint programming: its study, its theory, its applications, its evolution, its teaching and its diffusion. Covered topics include (and are not limited to): logic and constraint programming and their extensions, logics, discret and continuous satisfaction problems (SAT, CSP, etc.), mathematical programming and combinatorial optimisation.

AFPC is managed by an advisory board of 17 people whose president is Narendra Jussien (LINA, EMN, Nantes) and vice-president is Franocois Fages (INRIA, France). The new association has a brand new web site where information about the life of the association and its themes are presented.

For the pre-existing association (the AFPLC), becoming AFPC is a new step forward and an opening. As "Deleting" the "L" is not forgetting their roots, AFPC is still the ALP (Association for Logic Programming) representative in France.