2019 Quarter 2

REPORT FROM THE ASSOCIATION FOR CONSTRAINT PROGRAMMING

This is a short summary of activities within the ACP during the months April-July 2019.

The 2019 ACP Executive Committee (EC) comprises the following people, in alphabetical order:

  • Sophie Demassey - Treasurer
  • Maria Garcia de la Banda - President
  • Emmanuel Hebrard
  • Michele Lombardi
  • Laurent Michel (ex-officio, non-voting)
  • Claude-Guy Quimper - Conference Coordinator
  • Christian Schulte - Secretary
  • Charlotte Truchet

The ACP EC 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: ACP Research Excellence Award 2019

The Executive Committee of the Association for Constraint Programming has, since 2005, established an "ACP award for Research Excellence in constraint programming", whose purpose is to celebrate those CP researchers who have made exceptional and very influential research contributions to CP with their work.

The EC is delighted to report that Professor Peter Stuckey from Monash University has been selected by a committee as the 2019 (and tenth) recipient of the now bi-annual Award. Professor Stuckey is recognized for his many contributions to the field, ranging from his seminal work on CLP(R), his work on efficient constraint propagation and system design and implementation, his push for Lazy Clause Learning and the central role he played to create and disseminate MiniZinc, one of the most widespread modeling systems today. In addition to his technical contributions, Peter worked tirelessly for the dissemination of Constraint Programming. His book with Kim Marriott ("Programming with Constraints: an Introduction") and his coursera MOOCS exemplify these dissemination efforts.

Peter will receive the award at CP'19 in Stamford, CT USA.

Committee: N. Beldiceanu, L. Michel (chair), M. Milano, JC Régin, T. Schiex.

ACP.2: ACP Doctoral Research Award 2019

We have received five excellent submissions to the ACP Doctoral Award this year. Each nomination was support by exceptional publications in both journals and CP/AI conferences, as well as strong letter of nominations from top researchers in our field. The submissions ranged from highly theoretical work, such as novel complexity results associated with valued constraint satisfaction problems, to state-of-the-art computational techniques combining mathematical programming and CP.

After deliberations, our decision was based on the contributions that, in our opinion, have an immediate impact on the CP community. The winner is: Edward Lam.

Using techniques from mixed-integer programming, constraint programming, and Boolean satisfiability, Edward developed new algorithms to solve rich variants of the vehicle routing problem (VRP). In particular, Edward leveraged the strengths of these different solution methods to design new hybrid solution approaches -- Branch-and-Price-and-Check (BPC) and Branch-and-Check with explanations (BCE) -- that significantly outperformed the state of the art for several VRP variants. This dissertation provides both theoretical contributions and a new practical solution method that can be extended to tackle difficult optimization problems in routing, scheduling, and several other areas.

We also would like to give an Honorable Mention to: Roberto Castañeda Lozano.

Roberto developed a practical approach to solve compiler-related problems, specifically register allocation and instruction scheduling. The dissertation provides an innovative CP formulation to such problems as well as sophisticated methods to address it. More than that, such an approach was so successful that is currently implemented within a state-of-the-art compiler platform. His dissertation is a clear demonstration of the practical applicability of CP and opens new research areas within the growing compiler-related optimization field.

ACP.3: CP 2019 Conference: Call for Participation

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION - CP 2019 - https://cp2019.a4cp.org/

The 25th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming

Stamford, CT, U.S. | September 30 to October 4, 2019


This is the 25th edition of the annual conference on all aspects of computing with constraints, including theory, algorithms, environments, languages, models, systems, and applications such as decision making, resource allocation, scheduling, configuration, and planning. The Association for Constraint Programming has a list of previous conferences in this series.

The CP 2019 program will include presentations of high-quality scientific papers on constraints technology. In addition to the main conference program, CP 2019 will feature 6 thematic tracks covering emerging topics in computation: - Application Track - Computational Sustainability - CP and Life Sciences - CP, Data Science and Machine Learning - Multi-agent and Parallel CP - Testing and Verification

Associated with the conference is a one-day slate of workshops on Monday, September 30th: - Eighteenth International Workshop on Constraint Modelling and Reformulation (ModRef 2019) - Third Workshop on Progress Towards the Holy Grail (PTHG-19) - Workshop on Constraint Solving and Special Purpose Hardware Architectures

A number of invited talks on important topics relevant to the field will also be presented. Beyond the usual workshop, tutorial and doctoral programs, we invite authors of published papers with important results that have recently appeared in journals or sister conferences to submit an abstract. Authors of the best papers will also be invited to submit to associated journals for accelerated journal publication.


REGISTRATION

The registration costs are as follows:

  • Non-student Academic / Industry
    • $700 (late $850)
  • Student
    • $400 (late $550)
  • Workshop only
    • $100 (late $250)

The early registration deadline is September 7, 2019.


Conference Chair - David Bergman, University of Connecticut, United States

Assistant Conference Chair - Andre Cire, University of Toronto, Canada

Program Chairs - Simon de Givry, INRA, Toulouse, France - Thomas Schiex, INRA, Toulouse, France

Publicity Chair - Charlotte Truchet, University of Nantes, France

Local Chairs - Ugochukwu Etudo, University of Connecticut, United States - Tamilla Triantoro, Quinnipiac University, United States - Niam Yaraghi, University of Connecticut, United States

Website Chairs - Mohsen Emadikhiav, University of Connecticut, United States - Teng Huang, University of Connecticut, United States

Sponsorship Chairs - Saharnaz Mehrani, University of Connecticut, United States - Arvind Raghunathan, Mitsubishi Electric Research Lab, United States

ACP.4: ACP 2019 Summer School

Big congratulations to the Chair of the 2019 ACP summer school Andrea Rendl and her co-Chair Tommaso Urli for their outstanding work in organising a really excellent summer school in Vienna. The result was one of the best attended summer schools, with 45 participants attending (which was the max capacity of the venue!). It was also one of the most gender diverse (33% female), area diverse (only 43% had a CP background with 27% having SAT and 60% MIP) and position diverse (even 16% industry!). The schedule was also a great success with very interesting theory, hands-on practice and application talks that gave the required background to a fantastic hackathon, where participants modelled and solved a problem proposed and presented by one of the sponsors: N-SIDE. It was great! And we are pretty sure this was the first summer school to have vegan lunches (and they were delicious!) The ACP would like to thank Andrea and Tommaso for doing such a fantastic job! (and also Yohann Pitrey, who was the unofficial helper and photographer, and Satalia which not only sponsored the summer school, but gave Andrea, Tommaso and Yohann time to organise it!)

Air Force 1 Sage Low