ACP EC Election Candidates 2022

This year the ACP will again hold elections for 3 new Executive Committee members. The election is held between the 19th of July and the 26th of August, 2022 and allows for voting on as many candidates as you want.

You need to be a member of the ACP by the 19th of August 2022 to be eligible to vote. All dates are to be interpreted as 11:59 pm anywhere on earth.

ACP members will receive an email with instructions on how to vote. If you have not received those instructions by the 22nd of July 2022 (or soon after becoming a member), check your SPAM folder. If it is not there, please contact

The following candidates are nominated for election to the ACP Executive Committee in 2022 (in alphabetical order):

  • Ferdinando Fioretto
  • Nadjib Lazaar
  • Ines Lynce
  • Gilles Pesant
  • Hélène Verhaeghe

Election statements

Ferdinando Fioretto

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Syracuse University. I work on combinatorial optimization, privacy, and machine learning. My recent work focuses on (1) how to make algorithms better aligned with societal values, especially privacy and fairness, and (2) how to use machine learning for solving complex optimization problems. I am a recipient of the 2022 NSF CAREER award, the 2022 Google Research Scholar Award, the 2021 ISSNAF Mario Gerla Young Investigator Award, the 2021 ACP Early Career Researcher Award, the 2018 AI*AI Best AI dissertation award, and several best paper awards.

I have been an active and enthusiastic member of the CP community assisting with organizing various programs including chairing tracks at CP 2018 and 2019 as well as co-chairing CP 2022. I am thus excited by the prospect of serving on the ACP Executive Committee. I have an open-minded and pragmatic mentality. My focus as an ACP Executive Committee member, should I have the opportunity to serve in this capacity, will be to:

  • Promote the participation of young researchers from areas in which CP may not have been the traditional focus thus far, including machine learning, privacy, and security. This includes encouraging new tracks at CP as well as targeted workshops and summer school topics.
  • Commit to building broader participation in CP by sustaining and improving the climate of diversity and inclusiveness. This includes focusing on developing and advertising online courses and tutorials about Constraint Programming, promoting online participation in CP events, and establishing an online seminar series to improve the accessibility of CP research to underrepresented communities.
  • Strengthen the interest in CP for society. The community already works on a number of topics that touch on important societal aspects, including climate impact, mobility, energy, and accessibility. The focus will be on emphasizing and encouraging CP researchers to work on these important topics through the development of targeted application areas track, establishing awards, as well as by encouraging the creation and release of datasets and resources upon which the community can contribute to these important topics.

I deeply admire the work and spirit of this community and I look forward to serving it.

Nadjib Lazaar

I am a tenured assistant professor at the University of Montpellier, and member of (co-head since 2018) the COCONUT group at LIRMM.

My research interests are situated at the crossroads of Constraint Programming, Data Mining, Machine Learning and Software Engineering with contributions in developing techniques and tools for: Constraint Acquisition; Declarative Data Mining; Artificial Intelligence in Software Engineering.

I have been part of the CP community for more than 10 years and I have been involved at many levels. I have had the opportunity to be part of several AI PCs (CP, AAAI, IJCAI, ECAI,…) and to be involved in the discussion and organization of several events and activities around CP. In particular, I lead a CNRS working group on learning and constraints (CAVIAR group at GDR-IA – link), and I have participated in the organisation of two summer schools (VIVA2020, ACP2020).

Concerning the CP conference, my investment became important since 2016 with the thematic tracks and my role in the Test&Verif track. A track that this year takes an additional dimension with topics in Trustworthy Decision Making. I also have been in charge of the doctoral program of CP2018 and involved at the Montpellier edition of CP conference in 2021.

I run for this election because I think that this is the moment for me to go a little further in my involvement in CP community that has given me so much knowledge.

What I find great in CP as a field and a community at the same time is its ability to federate research groups that have different colorations between OR, AI and Logic Programming. I’m full of awe and admiration for this community that welcomes new ideas coming from other communities. I believe in the openness of CP and I strongly believe in the richness we can gain from inductive methods, ML, DM, and particularly from Software Engineering word that can allow CP to gain more ground at the industrial level. These are the ideas that I am developing at my level and that I would like to share with my community as an EC member.

I would like to add an element that is close to my heart, which is to see one day an edition of CP conference in a Maghreb country. I am of Algerian origin and I have very strong collaborations with Maghrebian universities that I will be able to approach for the organisation of a CP in the years to come.

Ines Lynce

I have been a member of the CP community for a long time. I first attended a CP conference as a PhD student in 2001. In that year, I also participated in the first CP doctoral program. I still remember the first steps of the ACP.

I am now a professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the Engineering School of the University of Lisbon. I am also a researcher at INESC-ID. Since 2020 I have served on the Editorial Board of the Artificial Intelligence Journal. I publish at and am a recurrent member of the program committees of the IJCAI, AAAI, ECAI, CP, and SAT conferences. I have been the co-organizer of the 2018 SAT-SMT-AR summer school. In addition, I was the co-chair of the 21st International Conference on Theory and Applications of Satisfiability Testing (SAT’19).

My main research contributions include developing search algorithms and applying those algorithms to solve practical problems. I tend to make use of SAT tools to solve these problems. But in the end, I resort to the most appropriate technology and end up using not only SAT but also CP, OR, SMT or ASP.

I have now the opportunity to serve on the ACP Executive Committee. If elected, my research work, having its roots in SAT, will provide me with a privileged vision and a diverse perspective on the future of the ACP. I want to put into practice three simple ideas:

  • Making CP more inclusive and diverse. The CP community goes far beyond academics having CP as the primary research field. CP is pervasive in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science. We should welcome all those who contribute to the development of CP. On the other hand, the ACP should foster initiatives involving ACP members in other sister communities.

  • Improving the internal communication within the community. We should be aware of and be proud of the success stories of the ACP members - publications, projects, dissertations, prizes, events. This communication will help us find more opportunities to collaborate with other ACP members.

  • Reaching out to more practitioners, researchers, students, and the general public. Most of us are involved in such activities in our local communities, ranging from teaching to outreach initiatives. ACP currently provides financial support to some of these activities. I advocate that ACP should further support these activities by making available comprehensive materials produced by the ACP members.

Web page:

Gilles Pesant

I am a professor of Computer and Software Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal, Canada. Constraint Programming has been my main research area for the past 30 years. I attended the very first CP conference in Cassis, France. I am a past Editor-in-Chief of the Constraints journal and a founding member of the CPAIOR Steering Committee. I was part of the organizing committee for the CP’04, CP’12, CP’15, CPAIOR’03, CPAIOR’05, and CPAIOR’09 conferences. I serve regularly on the program committee of the CP, CPAIOR, AAAI, and IJCAI conferences.

I believe ours is an exciting, intellectually-stimulating, industry-relevant, and impactful research area. Yet our community does not really show signs of the growth it deserves. The number of CP-related submissions to dedicated conferences (CP, CPAIOR) as well as to more general ones (e.g. IJCAI, AAAI) appears to decline. We are not alone in this situation: other AI-related communities are currently struggling in the shadow of Machine Learning.

If you choose to elect me, I will work with you to make our community grow. I don’t pretend to know exactly how yet but, looking at past statements from candidates who stood for election and at recent efforts by the ACP EC, I see lots of great ideas. I would first identify in what direction(s) we wish to grow and then target a few strategic actions at a time, putting to work our considerable human talent and financial resources. For example, given the popularity of online courses, should we produce and promote high-quality short courses (modules) on CP that can be integrated in graduate and even undergraduate curricula, especially in parts of the world or segments of the population where our community is underrepresented? Could we send some of the prominent members of our community on a mission to promote our field by visiting big tech companies, top universities, and even government agencies, or by proposing tutorials to related conferences? Could we put together a CP task force to join efforts in tackling major social and environmental issues?

Hélène Verhaeghe

I am currently a post-doctorate researcher at Polytechnique Montreal (Canada), under the supervision of Prof. Gilles Pesant and Prof. Claude-Guy Quimper.

I am an active member of the CP community since attending my first JFPC conference in 2016 (French CP conference). I have already attended many conferences from the community (all CP conferences since CP2017, CPAIOR multiple times and every JFPC since 2016). I have already helped with the organization of multiple conferences. I was the photograph at CP2017 and CP2018, publicity chair and in charge of the online organization at CP2020 and doctoral program chair at CP2022. On the research side, I am also an active contributor to the CP community. My research topic includes working on CP constraints and solver (the extensional constraint, sampling of solutions), using CP methods to solve ML-related problems (decision trees, improving neural net learning using CP), and some applications of CP (RCPSP problem). I have frequently submitted papers to the CP and CPAIOR conferences as well as some workshops and the Constraint journal. I have also already served on many program committees (CP, CPAIOR, AAAI and IJCAI), and did some reviews for the constraint journal (twice) and others.

If I were to be elected, I would focus on strategies for strengthened the community and open it to more people. First, I find it important to broaden the visibility of the CP community. For example, by improving and diffusing the available resources (success stories, Wikipedia pages,...) or creating new ones (listing of solvers, list of online tutorials,...). Having such complete resources would amazing tools to promote CP and attract new users. It would also help professors to easily include mentions of CP into their courses or even create full courses on the topic.

Secondly, the opening of the community to other fields is also important to me. The CP one could benefit from such synergies. By opening up to the OR, ML, planning,... communities, CP researchers could learn from methods developed there. CP can also provide some help to the other communities. However, as often, CP is not well known. Providing means for the creation of workshops or tutorials aiming at the presentation of CP solutions during conferences of these domains would be a good opportunity to build scientific bridges.

Last but not least, I would advocate broadening the diversity within the CP community. For now, the community is mostly situated in Europe, North America and Australia. Attracting a broader public could only benefit to the community. Means to do that includes the diffusion of resources related to CP, as well as considering once in a while places where the community is less represented for the conferences.