Volume 8, Number 0, January 2012

Constraint Programming News

volume 8, number 0, January, 2012

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





This is a short summary of activities within the ACP during the months October-December 2011.

The 2012 ACP Executive Committee comprises the following people, in alphabetical order (officers identified):

  • Yves Deville
  • John Hooker
  • Jimmy H.M. Lee - Secretary
  • Barry O'Sullivan - President
  • Thomas Schiex - Treasurer
  • Helmut Simonis
  • Peter Stuckey
  • 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.

<h6>ACP.1. CP 2012 Conference</h6>

The CP 2012 conference will be held in Quebec City, Canada. The Conference Chairs for the conference will be Gilles Pesant and Claude-Guy Quimper, with an additional Local Chair, Louis Martin Rouseau. The Programe Chair will be Michela Milano (Bologna).

The organisation of the scientific programme and the reviewing process has undergone some changes. There are two special tracks at the conference: one focused on applications papers (chaired by Helmut Simonis) and another on multidisciplinary papers (chaired by Barry O'Sullivan). The links to the calls for papers for the main conference track and these tracks are:


In terms of reviewing, the PC Chair has introduced a senior PC, who will support her in ensuring the highest quality reviews are written, along with a rigorous discussion. A physical meeting of the senior PC and track chairs will take place before final decisions on submissions are made.

The web-site for this year's conference is: http://www.cp2012.org

<h6>ACP.2. Call for Nominations: for the ACP Distinguished Service Award 2012</h6>

The Executive Committee of the ACP invites nominations for the 2012 ACP award for Distinguished Service to the Constraint Programming Community, which will be presented at CP 2012 in Quebec City, Canada. 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. [ Please see the attached call ]

The winner of the inaugural award in 2010 was Francesca Rossi (Padova).

<h6>ACP.3. Call for Nominations: for the ACP Doctoral Research Award 2012</h6>

The Executive Committee of the ACP invites nominations for the 2012 ACP Doctoral Research Award, which will be presented at CP 2012 in Quebec City, Canada. 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.
[ Please see the attached call ]

Past winners of this award can be found at:

<h6>ACP.4. ACP Membership 2012</h6>

The ACP-EC encourages all researchers active in the area of constraint programming to ensure they have formally recorded their membership of the association by visiting our web-site - http://www.a4cp.org - and joining up by following the 'Join the ACP' link.

<h6>ACP.5. ACP-EC Elections in 2012</h6>

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 circulate, but in the meantime please consider the names of those you think would be suitable for the ACP-EC.

<h6>ACP.6. Expressions of Interest in Hosting CP 2013 and CP 2014</h6>

We are resending the Call for Bids for CP 2013 and 2014.
[ Please see the attached call ]

<h6>ACP.7. Call for Proposals to Host the ACP Summer School 2012 </h6>

Members of the CP community who are interested in organizing the 2012 ACP Summer School should send a proposal to secretary@a4cp.org as soon as possible. We received no proposals to date in response to a number of calls being submitted to the community. A bid is easy to prepare, and should contain at least the following information:

  1. topic of the school
  2. location
  3. dates
  4. organizers
  5. provisional budget

Since its establishment, the summer school has been a major success with feedback from student attendees being very positive.

[EDDA 2012] EURO Doctoral Dissertation Award

The EDDA (EURO Doctoral Dissertation Award) is a EURO instrument. It consists of a prize that is awarded at each EURO-K conference. The purpose of the prize is to distinguish an outstanding PhD thesis in Operational Research defended in the countries having an OR society that is member of EURO. It will be awarded for the sixth time at the closing session of the EURO-2012 conference (Vilnius, July 8 - 11, 2012). We invite you to widely disseminate this announcement.

Eligibility of applications
The EDDA 2012 jury will only consider PhD theses in Operational Research defended between 15 January 2010 (i.e., the deadline for the preceding edition of the prize) and 15 January 2012 (the deadline for the present edition). The dissertation should have been defended in a University located in a member country of EURO. The author of the dissertation should be a member of a member society of EURO. To be considered, a dissertation should be nominated by the supervisor of the thesis (one of them in case of multiple supervisors). The supervisor of the dissertation is asked to provide the jury with the following information:

  1. the text of the dissertation,
  2. an extended abstract (up to 5 pages) of the dissertation; this abstract should be written in English and should include precise keywords,
  3. if the dissertation is not written in English, a paper in English authored (or co-authored) by the author of the dissertation and describing the core ideas of the thesis. This paper should preferably have been published in or submitted to an international journal.
  4. nomination letters (or reports) from two referees selected by the dissertation supervisor, supporting the submission and stating their assessment of why the thesis should win the award.
  5. an up-to-date CV of the candidate, including a list of publications.

No nomination will be considered without these items. All information should be sent in electronic form to the chairman of the jury, Jacques Teghem, using a compressed format (e.g. zip) to save space and bandwidth. Since many PhD theses in OR are defended each year, the jury would like to remind supervisors that only outstanding pieces of work have a reasonable chance of winning the award.

The jury consists in:

  1. Jacques Teghem(Chairman),
  2. Silvano Martello (Chairman of the 2013 edition of the EDDA),
  3. Hartmut Stadtler (Chairman of the 2015 edition of the EDDA),
  4. Stéphane Dauzere-Peres,
  5. Ahti Salo.

Selection process
The selection process consists in two phases.

Phase 1:
Each application is studied by several members of the jury. The jury selects a shortlist of three finalists. The jury evaluates the applications taking the following points into account: Originality and novelty of the subject, Pertinence of the subject for OR; Depth and breadth of the results, Contributions of the dissertation to the theory and practice of OR, Applications and/or potential applicability of the results, Impact on related fields, Quality of the related publications.

Phase 2:
These 3 finalists are invited to present their contribution in front of the jury and any other interested participant during a special EDDA session scheduled at the EURO 2012 conference. The jury selects the final laureate after the session.

The prize consists in an ad hoc certificate and reward of 1,000 € .
The three finalists will have to register for the EURO 2012 conference (they will only pay the early registration fees). EURO will contribute, if necessary, to their travel and journey expenses.

The deadline for submitting applications is 15 January 2012. The nomination of the three finalists will be made public before 15 April 2012.

Jacques Teghem
Laboratory of Mathematics and Operations Research
Faculté Polytechnique, Université de Mons
Rue de Houdain 9, B-7000 Mons, Belgium
Email: jacques.teghem@umons.ac.be
Fax: +32-65-374689
Phone: +32-65-374680, Mobile: +32-478-363631

Optimization Days 2012

Optimization Days is an annual conference organized alternately by the Interuniversity Research Centre on Enterprise Networks, Logistics and Transportation (CIRRELT) and the Groupe d'Études et de Recherche en Analyse des Décisions (GERAD). The aim of the meeting is to survey current research trends in optimization methods and their applications, and to provide an opportunity for interaction between various research groups from around the world. Topics of interest include, but are not restricted to:

Mathematical programming; heuristics; constraint programming; optimal control theory; numerical methods of optimization; statistical methods; applications to engineering, management science, healthcare systems, transportation, economics, urban and environmental problems, resource management, biology, telecommunications networks, robotics, expert systems, energy modeling, etc. All those interested in optimization methods and their present or potential applications are invited to participate. We are especially interested in talks on new methods of optimization and their applications. The languages of the conference will be English and French.

In 2012, Optimization Days will be held at HEC Montréal, 3000 Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montreal, near the Campus of the Université de Montréal. Here is a list of the invited plenary speakers:

John Chinneck, Carleton University, Canada
Sophie D'Amours, Laval University, Canada
Patrick Jaillet, Massachussetts Institute of Technology, United States
Andrés Weintraub, University of Chile, Chile

Louis-Martin Rousseau and Angel Ruiz
Email: jopt2012@cirrelt.ca

Second International SAT/SMT Summer School

Trento, Italy, June 12-15th, 2012

The SAT/SMT Summer School 2012 (2nd edition) aims at providing graduate students and researchers from universities and industry with a comprehensive overview of the research in SAT, SMT, and their application. The lectures cover the foundational and practical aspects of SAT and SMT solvers, as well as their application to verification, planning, scheduling, and optimization problems.

This second edition follows the Summer School of 2011 organized by Vijay Ganesh at MIT, and is co-located with the SAT 2012 conference. The school will take place in Trento, Italy, from June 12th to June 15th 2012.

The program will feature four lectures per day, with the first two days dedicated to SAT and SMT foundations, and the last two to applications on various domains.

List of speakers:

  • Armin Biere (Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria)
  • Leonardo de Moura (Microsoft Research Redmond, USA)
  • Bruno Dutertre (SRI International, USA)
  • Martin Fränzle (Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany)
  • John Franco (University of Cincinnati, USA)
  • Silvio Ghilardi (Università di Milano, Italy)
  • Patrice Godefroid (Microsoft Research Redmond, USA)
  • Holger Hoos (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)
  • Tomi Janhunen (Aalto University, Finland)
  • Pete Manolios (Northeastern University, USA)
  • Joao Marques-Silva (University College Dublin, Ireland)
  • Ken McMillan (Microsoft Research Redmond, USA)
  • Jussi Rintanen (Austrialian National University, Australia)
  • Fabio Somenzi (University of Colorado, Boulder, USA)
  • Gunnar Stålmarck (Prover Technology and Gain Sweden AB, Sweden)
  • Cesare Tinelli (University of Iowa, USA)

A more detailed program is available at the school website (http://satsmtschool2012.fbk.eu).

It is expected that we will be able to provide a limited number of grants for students that will attend the school. More details about the procedure for applying and the registration deadlines will appear on the school website as soon as possible. Interested students are however encouraged to contact us at any moment.

The school organizers, Alberto Griggio and Stefano Tonetta.

Call for Nominations for AAAI President and Councilors

Dear AAAI Members,

The 2012 Nominating Committee is about to begin the process of selecting President-Elect and Councilor candidates for the 2012 AAAI Ballot, and is seeking nominations from the AAAI membership. Please complete the information below and send us your suggestions by January 16. (Please note that you can nominate as many people as you like for the office of President-Elect or Councilor.)

In 2012, AAAI members will elect one individual to serve a two-year term as president-elect, followed by two years as president, and, finally, two years as immediate past president. In addition, members will elect four new councilors to serve three-year terms on the AAAI Executive Council. All elected officers and councilors are expected to attend at least two council meetings per year, and actively participate in AAAI activities. Nominees must be current members of AAAI. The Nominating Committee encourages all regular AAAI members in good standing to place an individual's name before them for consideration. (Student and institutional members are not eligible to submit candidates' names.) The Nominating Committee, in turn, will nominate 1-2 candidates for president-elect and eight candidates for councilor in early spring. In addition to members' recommendations, the committee will actively recruit individuals in order to provide a balanced slate of candidates. AAAI regular members will vote in late spring.

Complete the attached form and send it to [hamilton@aaai.org], fax it to 650-321-4457, or mail it to AAAI, 2275 East Bayshore Road, Suite 160, Palo Alto, CA 94303, no later than January 16.


Carol Hamilton
Executive Director, AAAI

AAAI Executive Council Ballot

Nominee for President-Elect

City / State or Province / Country:

Additional Information or Recommendation:

Nominee for Councilor

City / State or Province / Country:

Additional Information or Recommendation:

Call for Nominations "ICAPS Best Dissertation Award"

This award honors an outstanding Ph.D. dissertation in any area of automated planning and scheduling. It will be given during the ICAPS conference.

PhD dissertations that were completed and filed in 2010 or 2011 will be considered for the ICAPS-12 Best Dissertation Award. The recipient will receive a certificate and 500 USD.

The award committee is requesting nominations of candidate PhDs.

The nomination material should include the following:

  • a CV of the candidate with a complete list of publications,
  • a copy of the dissertation,
  • a nomination letter by the PhD advisor (this letter must specify the completion/filing date of the dissertation)
  • two additional recommendation letters or a copy of the request for such letters. If a request is submitted in lieu of the actual recommendation letter, the letter itself must be received by 15 February 2012.

Nominations should be submitted in electronic form (preferably as a single PDF file or the URL of such a file) to the ICAPS Award Committee chair: mark.boddy@adventiumlabs.com

A word of caution: it is possible to postpone asking recommenders for their letters until the very last minute (31 January), leaving them only two weeks to get the letters in to the committee. This seems to us to be a high-risk strategy. We urge nominators to request these letters as soon as possible, since the recommenders may need to familiarize themselves with the contents of the thesis. Nominators are responsible for ensuring that the letters of recommendation are submitted by the final deadline. The committee will not solicit missing letters, nor will it review incomplete nomination packets.

The dissertation should preferably be written in English. However, we accept dissertations not written in English if they are submitted together with the following documents that must be written in English: an extended abstract of the dissertation, a series of papers that cover the key results of the dissertation and a document that describes the mapping from the papers to the chapters of the dissertation. Students who did not win an award last year can be nominated again if they are still eligible this year.

More information on the ICAPS conference series can be found at the following URL:

Submission deadline: 31 January 2012

Call for Nominations for the "ICAPS Influential Paper Award"

This award honors the authors of a significant and influential paper in any area of automated planning and scheduling. It will be given during the ICAPS conference.

Papers that qualify for the award are those published in one of the ICAPS family of conferences (ICAPS, ECP, EWSP, AIPS) at least 10 years before the year of the current conference (i.e, up to 2002 for this year's award).

The recipients of the 2012 award will receive a certificate, 500 USD and one complimentary registration to the ICAPS-2012 conference.

The award committee is requesting nominations of candidate papers.

The nomination material should include:

  • the reference of the nominated paper,
  • the reasons in favor of the nomination,
  • either a URL from which the paper can be retrieved or a copy of the paper itself. Please contact the committee if this last requirement causes any difficulties.

Nominations should be submitted in electronic form to the ICAPS Award Committee chair: mark.boddy@adventiumlabs.com

Submission deadline: 15 January 2012


CONSTRAINTS Journal Accepted Papers

Volume 17, Number 1 / Janurary 2012

Exploiting subproblem dominance in constraint programming (regular paper)
Geoffrey Chu, Maria Garcia de la Banda, and Peter J. Stuckey

Solving steel mill slab design problems (letter)
Stefan Heinz, Thomas Schlechte, Rüdiger Stephan, and Michael Winkler

Optimal methods for resource allocation and scheduling: a cross-disciplinary survey (survey)
Michele Lombardi and Michela Milano


CALL FOR TUTORIALS : EURO Journal on Transportation and Logistics

The field of Transportation and Logistics relies more and more on advanced methodological tools. Researchers must master a wide variety of complex methods and theories. In order to support the research community, the EURO Journal on Transportation and Logistics will publish tutorials.

The objective is to publish material that has reached a level of maturity in the research community, so that it interests a wide audience, but did not make its way to standard textbooks yet. To be acceptable for publication, the topic of the tutorial should not be available in an existing textbook. Also, the tutorial should include concrete and reproducible examples, and should be written in a pedagogical way. All tutorials will be subject to peer review before publication.

We invite lecturers and researchers to submit tutorials to the journal. Manuscript can be submitted online using the editorial manager http://www.editorialmanager.com/ejtl/

Michel Bierlaire
EURO Journal on Transportation and Logistics


Constraints Journal Special Issue on Modeling and Reformulation

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: February 24, 2012

In honour of the Tenth edition of the International Workshop on Constraint Modeling and Reformulation (ModRef 2011[1]) the Constraints journal solicits submissions for a special issue. While we encourage submissions of extended versions of papers that have appeared in previous ModRef workshops[2], this is an open call with no such requirement.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Problem Models
    novel, improved problem formulations
    novel problems that can be formulated and successfully solved as CSPs
  • Automated Modeling and Reformulation
    Automated generation of implied constraints
    Automated generation of symmetry-breaking constraints
    Automated generation of constraints to exploit dominance relations
    Automated generation of relaxations
  • Constraint Modeling Languages
    Abstraction in constraint languages
    Abstract variable domains
    Abstraction in search control
    Automated refinement
  • Interaction between Modeling/Reformulation and Search
  • Interaction between Modeling/Reformulation and Propagation
  • Applications of Automated Modeling Systems
  • Overviews of Modeling and Reformulation research in other closely related areas such as mathematical programming and SAT solving

We are looking for papers that fit into any of the formats that Constraints publishes. In particular:

  • Standard research papers - papers that contain original work and make a significant contribution to the field of Constraint Modelling and Reformulation.
  • Survey papers - papers that review modeling and reformation within CP or other areas that are of particular interest to the CP community (e.g., mathematical programming, SAT). If you plan to submit such a paper, please contact the guest editors as soon as possible as we would like to avoid submissions of overlapping survey papers.
  • Application papers - papers the describe real-life applications of CP where modeling and reformulation play a central role in the success of the application.
  • Letters - short papers presenting that makes a significant contribution but does not require a full-size journal paper.

We are also interested in more speculative papers that, for example, extrapolate current research and practice to indicate trends, opportunities, and research topics over the next 10 years (e.g., ten challenge problems in modeling and reformulation).

Andrea Rendl Austrian Institute of Technology, Austria
J. Christopher Beck University of Toronto, Canada

[1] http://aenas.arfcd.com/modref11/
[2] http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/~frisch/ModRef/



ICKEPS 2012@ICAPS 2012, 4th International Competition on Knowledge Engineering for Planning and Scheduling, June 25-29 2012, Atibaia, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Design Process Track Paper submission deadline: February 17, 2012. Challenge Track Paper submission deadline: April 1, 2012.

AIMMS MOPTA Modeling Competition "Scheduling in SmartGrids". Submission deadline: May 31, 2012.


ISAIM 2012, 12th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics, January 9-11, 2012, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

LION 6, 6th the Learning and Intelligent OptimizatioN, January 16-20, 2012, Paris, France.



LION-S*EA 2012@LION 6, special session "Autonomous Control for Search Algorithms", January 16-20, 2012, Paris, France.

PADL 2012, 14th International Symposium on Practical Aspects of Declarative Languages, January 23-24, 2012, Pennsylvania, USA.

ICAART 2012, 4th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence, February 6-8, 2012, Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal.

FoIKS 2012, 7th International Symposia on Foundations of Information and Knowledge Systems, March 5-9, 2012, Kiel, Germany.

ACAI 2012, the International Conference on Automatic Control and Artificial Intelligence, March 24-26, 2012, Xiamen, China.

ACM SAC 2012, 27th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, March 25-29, 2012, Riva del Garda (Trento), Italy.

GRAPHITE 2012@ETAPS, 1st Workshop on GRAPH Inspection and Traversal Engineering, March 31 - April 1, 2012, Tallinn, Estonia. Paper submission deadline: January 4, 2012.

ROADEF 2012, 13th congress of the French Society of Operations Research and Decision Support, Special session "Deterministic global optimization", April 11-13, 2012, Angers, France.

ICCI 2012, 8th International Conference on Computational Intelligence, April 11-13, 2012, Barcelona, Spain.

ECCO 2012, 25th Conference of the European Chapter on Combinatorial Optimization, April 26-28, 2012, Antalya, Turkey. Paper submission deadline: February 1, 2012.

ICAISC 2012, 11th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Soft Computing, April 29 - May 3, 2012, Zakopane, Poland.

FLAIRS 2012, 25th International Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference Conference Silver Anniversary, May 23-25, 2012, Marco Island, Florida, USA.

AI 2012, 25th Canadian Conference on Artificial Intelligence, May 28-30, 2012, York Univeristy, Toronto, Canada. Paper submission deadline: January 30, 2012.

CPAIOR 2012, 9th International Conference on Integration of Artificial Intelligence and Operations Research Techniques in Constraint Programming, May 28 - June 1, 2012, Nantes, France. Workshop proposal deadline: February 6, 2012.

KR 2012, 13th International Conference on Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning, June 10-14, 2012, Rome, Italy.

CEC 2012@WCCI, Special Session on Evolutionary Computation in Scheduling 2012 IEEE World Congress on Evolutionary Computation, June 10-15, 2012, Brisbane, Australia.

SAT 2012, 15th International Conference on Theory and Applications of Satisfiability Testing, June 17-20th, 2012, Trento, Italy. Abstract submission deadline: February 05, 2012. Paper submission deadline: February 12, 2012.

ICAPS 2012, 22nd International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, June 25-29, 2012, Atibaia, Sao Paulo Brazil.

TAMPRA 2012@ICAPS 2012, Combining Task and Motion Planning for Real-World Applications, June 25-29, 2012, Atibaia, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Paper submission deadline: February 26, 2012

Special Track@ICAPS 2012, Continuous Planning, 22nd International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, June 24-28, 2012, Atibaia, Sao Paulo Brazil.

IPC 2012@ICAPS 2012, 3rd Workshop on International Planning Competition, June 25-29, 2012, Atibaia, Sao Paulo Brazil. Paper submission deadline: February 20, 2012.

PSTL 2012@ICAPS 2012, Workshop on Planning and Scheduling with Timelines, June 25-29, 2012, Atibaia, Sao Paulo Brazil. Paper submission deadline: February 26, 2012.

COPLAS 2012@ICAPS 2012, Workshop on Constraint Satisfaction Techniques for Planning and Scheduling Problems, June 25-29, 2012, Atibaia, Sao Paulo Brazil. Paper submission deadline: February 26, 2012.

EURO 2012, 25th European Conference on Operational Research, July 8-11, 2012, Vilnius, Lithuania. Abstract Submission Deadline: February 29, 2012.

SoCS 2012, 5th Annual Symposium on Combinatorial Search, July 19-21, 2012, Niagara Falls, Canada and Buffalo, New York. Submission deadline: April 15, 2012.

AAAI 2012, 26th Conference on Artificial Intelligence, July 22-26, 2012, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Paper submission Deadline: January 14, 2012.

Tutorial Forum@AAAI 2012, 26th Conference on Artificial Intelligence, July 22-26, 2012, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

UAI 2012, 28th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, August 15-17, 2012, Catalina Island, USA. Paper submission deadline: March 16, 2012.

ISMP 2012, 21st International Symposium on Mathematical Programming, Berlin, Germany, August 19-24, 2012. Session proposal deadline: March 1, 2012. Abstract submission deadline: April 15, 2012.

STAIRS 2012@ECAI , 6th "Starting Artificial Intelligence Research" Symposium, August, 27-28, 2012, Montpellier, France. Paper submission deadline: May 25, 2012.

ECAI 2012, 20th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, August 27-31, 2012, Montpellier, France. Paper submission deadline: March 6, 2012. Workshop proposal submission deadline: January 20, 2012. Workshop paper submission deadline: May 28, 2012.

PRICAI 2012, 12th Pacific Rim International Conference on Artificial Intelligence, August 27-31, 2012, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Paper submission deadline: March 1, 2012.

ICLP 2012, 28th International Conference on Logic Programming, September 4-8, 2012, Budapest, Hungary.

Matheuristics'2012, 4th International Workshop on Model-Based Metaheuristics, September 16-21, 2012, Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Paper submission deadline: April 30, 2012.

ICTAI 2012, 24th IEEE International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence, October 1-3, 2012, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

CP 2012, 18th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming, October 8-12, 2012, Quebec City, Canada. Abstract submission deadline: April 19, 2012. Paper submission deadline: April 23, 2012.


div class="career">

Career news

OR Summer Fellowship opportunity at SAS

SAS has an OR Summer Fellowship opportunity for 2012. Some details about th e position are given below. To apply, interested students should go to http://www.sas.com/jobs/USjobs/# , click on Fellowship Opportunities and then the Operations Research Fellowship link and follow instructions to apply online.

In Short

As a SAS Summer Fellow in the Operations Research division, you will contribute to activities such as literature review, development and implementation of numerical algorithms, and software application development under the supervision of a senior member of the department. Specific areas of interest are mathematical optimization, constraint programming and large scale network algorithms. The department has a staff of over 30, most with doctoral degrees, whose primary focus is OR based software development. The program provides an excellent opportunity to learn, collaborate and explore software development as a career choice.



  1. Ph.D. candidate in Operations Research, Industrial Engineering, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics or related field, studying in the United States, with at least 2 years of graduate studies completed by the end of the spring 2012 semester. Coursework in relevant areas of Operations Research.
  2. Demonstrated programming experience in languages like C, C++, and Java, Good knowledge of standard operating systems.


  1. Formal software development experience.
  2. Research interests in mathematical optimization, constraint programming or network analysis.

Application Deadline: February 1, 2012.

PhD and Postdoc positions at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

The Machine Learning group of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven has several open positions (at the Ph.D. or post-doc level) in the area of data mining and its combination with constraint satisfaction and constraint programming.


The research will be carried in the context of two projects funded by the Research Foundation -- Flanders and the European FET Project ICON (Inductive Constraint Programming, 2012-2014, coordinated by KULeuven, in collaboration with Cork Constraint Computation Centre, University of Pisa, and CNRS-LIRMM Montpellier). The successful applicants will work under the direction of Prof. Luc De Raedt and Dr. Siegfried Nijssen.

The research questions tackled in these projects are related to

  • how to combine / integrate constraint programming with data mining?
  • how to learn constraints from data ?
  • how to adapt constraint programming solvers for use in data mining?

The Machine Learning group is part of the laboratory on Declarative Languages and Artificial Intelligence, and has expertise in machine learning, data mining, constraint programming and constraint satisfaction. The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is located in the old city of Leuven, close to Brussels, the capital of Belgium.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact Luc.DeRaedt@cs.kuleuven or Siegfried.Nijssen@cs.kuleuven.be


Researcher Positions in Optimization at NICTA

Organization/Institution: NICTA (National ICT Australia) Researchers (Optimisation)

  • Up to 7 positions available.
  • Competitive Salary: 85K-110K Australian, incl. superannuation.
  • Duration: Up to 3 years in the first instance.

NICTA (National ICT Australia) is Australia's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Research Centre of Excellence. Our primary goal is to conduct world-class research generating fundamental scientific results with an impact on society. NICTA aspires to be one of the world's top ten ICT research centres by 2020.

Applications are invited for researcher positions within the Optimisation Research Group, to work with Sylvie Thiebaux and Pascal Van Hentenryck. The majority of the positions are based in Canberra and the rest in Melbourne.


We seek outstanding researchers who have recently received their PhD to be part of a large, world-class optimisation group. The researchers will join significant projects in infrastructure resilience (including disaster management and infrastructure security) and smart energy systems (including smart electricity grids and smart buildings).

Candidates should have a PhD in computer science, operations research, or related areas, a strong background in artificial intelligence, constraint programming, or operations research, and good modelling and programming skills.

It is expected that all researchers will continue to build upon their international reputation by publishing papers and attending top conferences, while participating to the design and implementation of optimisation systems for infrastructure resilience and smart energy management.

Application Instructions

The full text of the advertising can be seen at

NICTA reserves the right to fill some or all of these positions prior to the closing date, or by invitation, or to not make any appointments. Applicants are thus encouraged to apply early.

Please email resume, motivation letter, short research statement, and names of 3 referees to:

Researcher Position at NICTA

Organization/Institution: NICTA (National ICT Australia) Researchers (Optimisation)

  • At least 2 positions available for researchers on the interface of optimization, social choice and machine learning.
  • Competitive Salary: 85K-110K Australian, incl. superannuation.
  • Duration: Up to 3 years in the first instance.
  • Research project: Optimisation, Preferences and Mechanism Design in Social Networks.

NICTA (National ICT Australia) is Australia's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Research Centre of Excellence. Our primary goal is to conduct world-class research generating fundamental scientific results with an impact on society. NICTA aspires to be one of the world's top ten ICT research centres by 2020.

Applications are invited for researcher positions within the Optimisation Research Group, to work with Toby Walsh and other members of the group in Sydney.


We seek outstanding researchers who have recently received their PhD to be part of a large, world-class optimisation group. The researchers will join a new research project on the interface of the optimisation, machine learning, and social networks. Social networks are transforming the way that people and businesses interact. However, they throw up many challenging new optimisation problems. How do we best combine the preferences of multiple users? How do best learn these preferences? How do we design mechanisms that use these preferences which encourage truthful behaviour yet generate outcomes which are (close to) optimal? Can we exploit the structure of the social network?

Candidates should have a PhD in computer science, computational aspects of economics, operations research, or related areas, with a strong background in artificial intelligence, social choice, operations research, machine learning or mechanism design. Candidates should have a strong theoretical background, as well as programming skills and experience in using optimisation technologies.

It is expected that all researchers will continue to build upon their international reputation by publishing papers and attending top conferences, while participating in projects at NICTA.

Application Instructions

The full text will appear shortly.

Please email resume, motivation letter, short research statement, and names of 3 referees to:
Toby Walsh


Optimisation @ NICTA

NICTA is Australia's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Centre of Excellence. It is the largest organisation in Australia dedicated to ICT research. Whilst it has close links with local universities, it is in fact an independent but not-for-profit company in the business of doing research, commercialising that research, and training PhD students to do that research. NICTA was established with two main objectives: To undertake leading fundamental research in ICT and to develop commercial or national benefit outcomes from this research for Australia. In support of these objectives, NICTA was recently re-structured around six major research groups. One of these research groups is focused on optimisation.


The optimisation research group at NICTA carries out fundamental and applied research that addresses grand challenges faced by society in infrastructure resilience, smart energy systems, computational life sciences, and logistics, networks, and supply chains. Its mission is to contribute pioneering scientific results and innovative optimisation systems and to work with partners to achieve benefits to society.

Group members

The group is led by Pascal Van Hentenryck. There are about 48 researchers in the group across four of the five NICTA research laboratories. Other senior members of the group include Phil Kilby, Abdul Sattar, Peter Stuckey, Sylvie Thiebaux, Andrew Verden, Mark Wallace, and Toby Walsh. Several open positions are available and interested people should contact Pascal Van Hentenryck for more details.


The projects being undertaken in the optimisation research group are pushing the frontier of optimisation to meet the modeling and computational requirements underlying these challenges. They aim to develop the decision support tools to prepare, mitigate, respond, and recover from natural disasters and security threats. They study how to plan and operate the smart grid in order to integrate renewable energies and support large-scale distributed generation. They explore how to build the next generation of logistics and supply-chain software, striving toward holistic optimisation in multi-modal environments. The group collaborates with biologists and social scientists to elucidate and regulate large-scale biological and social processes.


The research is multi-disciplinary and integrates technologies from artificial intelligence, operations research, and theoretical computer science. The goal is to make scientific advances in constraint and mathematical programming, local search and approximation algorithms, planning and diagnosis, simulation and forecasting, computational social choices, and stochastic optimization. The group is developing an optimisation platform that integrates these technologies and will transform the design and implementation of complex optimisation applications. The aim is to develop optimisation systems that interoperate naturally with other components in comprehensive software solutions.


The group collaborates with researchers in control theory and machine learning, as well as with domain experts in sensing and monitoring, complex infrastructures, life sciences, and security. Partnerships with universities and research teams, and our governmental and industrial partners are especially valued.