Volume 4, Number 1, April 2008

Constraint Programming News

volume 4, number 1, Apr 2008

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

Contents

News

Welcome to CP News, an initiative of the Association for Constraint Programming.  

We aim to provide a comprehensive summary of important news in the area of constraint programming. The newsletter is 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.

REPORT FROM THE ASSOCIATION FOR CONSTRAINT PROGRAMMING

This is a short summary of activities within the ACP during the months January-March 2008.

  1. Location of CP 2009

      Three extremely competitive bids were received to host CP 2009.  After careful deliberation, the EC accepted a bid submitted by Pedro Barahona.  Therefore, CP 2009 will be held in Lisbon . The ACP EC congratulates Pedro, and thanks the other bidders. The Programme Chair for 2009 has yet to be decided.

  2. ACP Summer School 2008

      The ACP Summer School 2008 will be held in St. Andrews , Scotland , from June 30th - July 4th 2008. The topic of this year's school will be "Modelling with Constraints: Theory and Practice".  As well as lecture series from world class researchers, participants will use the Minion constraint solver and the Essence modelling language in practical modelling exercises.

  3. Call for Nominations: for the ACP Research Excellence Award 2008.

      The call for nominations for this award is here.  Past winners of this award are listed here.

  4. Call for Nominations: for the ACP Doctoral Research Award 2008.

      The call for nominations for this new award is here.  This is a new award from the ACP that will recognise the contributions of doctoral research carried out in the area of CP.

  5. Sponsorships.

      We have agreed to sponsor the CSCLP workshop. This is in addition to CPAIOR, the ACP Summer School, and the CP conferences that the ACP is also committed to supporting.

4C Team Wins International Timetabling Competition Prize

A team of researchers at the Cork Constraint Computation Centre (4C) in the Department of Computer Science at University College Cork have won the Post-Enrollment Course Timetabling Track of the International Timetabling Competition.

The team members were Hadrien Cambazard, Emmanuel Hebrard (Embark Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow), Barry O'Sullivan (Science Foundation Ireland Principal Investigator) and Alexandre Papadopulous.

A Prize of 500 pounds sterling will be presented to the winner of each track. Final results, rankings and winners of each track will be presented and discussed during the the 7th International Conference on the Practice and Theory of Automated Timetabling in Montreal in August.

This year's competition is sponsored by the International Series of Conferences on the Practice and Theory of Automated Timetabling and the Working Group on Automated Timetabling of the Association of European Operational Research Societies, and was organised and run by the eventMAP research group at Queen's University with partners from Cardiff University, Napier University, University of Nottingham and the University of Udine.

Further information can be found here.

ICAPS Influential Paper Award: Call for Nominations

The ICAPS Executive Council makes an annual presentation of 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  ICAPS conferences.

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 (that is up to 1998 for the next ICAPS).

The recipients of the 2008 award will receive a certificate, 500 US$ and complementary registrations to the ICAPS08 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 this nomination.

Nominations should be submitted in electronic form to the ICAPS Award Committee chair : derek.long@cis.strath.ac.uk

Submission deadline : April 30th 2008.

The decision will be announced by July 1st, 2008

ICAPS Best Dissertation Award: Call for Nominations

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

PhD dissertations that were completed and filed in 2006 or 2007 may be considered for the next ICAPS08 award.

The recipient of the 2008 award will receive a certificate, 500 US$ and a complementary registration to the ICAPS08 conference.

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,
  --  two additional recommendation letters, or a copy of the request for such letters.

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: derek.long@cis.strath.ac.uk

Submission deadline : 30th April, 2008

The decision will be notified by July 1st, 2008

3rd International Compulog/ALP Summer School on Logic Programming and Computational Logic

The third international summer school in Logic Programming and Computation Logic will be held on the campus of New Mexico State University   in beautiful Las Cruces , New Mexico , during July 24-27, 2008. The summer school is intended for graduate students, post-doctoral students, young researchers, and programmers interested in constraints, logic programming, computational logic and their applications. The lectures will be given by internationally renowned researchers who have made significant contributions to the advancement of these disciplines. The summer school is a good opportunity for quickly acquiring background knowledge on important areas of computational logic. The summer school is especially directed to Ph.D. students who are just about to start research. Exceptional undergraduate students in their senior year are also encouraged to attend.CP-2006 will be held in Nantes in 2006. Frederic Benhamou will be the program chair.

CONSTRAINTS Journal Accepted Papers

Constraint Programming Letters (CPL) provides an international forum for the electronic publication of high-quality scholarly articles on constraint programming. All published papers are freely available online.

Volume 3

  • Breaking Symmetries in Injective Problems
        Jean-Francois Puget; 3:1--20, 2007.
  • A Quadratic Propagator for the Inter-Distance Constraint.
        Claude-Guy Quimper, Alejandro Lopez-Ortiz, and Gilles Pesant; 3:21--35, 2008.

Volume 2 (Special Issue on Arc Consistency)

  • Introduction to the Special Issue.
        Marc van Dongen; 2:1--2, 2008.
  • Maintaining Arc Consistency with Multiple Residues
        Christophe Lecoutre, Chavalit Likitvivatanavong, Scott G. Shannon, Roland H.C. Yap, and Yualin Zhang ; 2:3--19, 2008.
  • Enforcing Arc Consistency using Bitwise Operations.
        Christophe Lecoutre and Julien Vion; 2:21--35, 2008.
  • Reducing Checks and Revisions in the Coarse-Grained Arc Consistency Algorithms.
        Deepak Mehta; 2:37--53, 2008.
  • The Expected Value and the Variance of the Checks Required by Revision Algorithms.
        M.R.C. van Dongen, A.B. Dieker, and A.  Sapozhnikov; 2:55--77, 2008.
Other Publications

PhD Theses:

  • Magnus Ågren (Uppsala University)
    Title: Set Constraints for Local Search
    PhD supervisors: Pierre Flener and Justin Pearson
  • Jean-Marie Normand
    PhD Thesis, University of Nantes, France
    Title: Placement de caméra en environnements virtuels (in French)
    Supervisors: Frédéric Benhamou, Marc Christie
  • Emilie Grellier
    PhD Thesis, University of Nantes, France
    Title: Optimisation des tournées de véhicules dans le cadre de la logistique inverse: modélisation et résolution
             par des méthodes hybrides (in French)
    Supervisors: Narendra Jussien - Pierre Dejax

Books:

The proceedings of the Second International  Solver Competition may now be downloaded.

Journal:

The Journal of Discrete Algorithms (JDA) aims to facilitate communication between researchers in theoretical computer science who are concerned with the design and analysis of discrete algorithms. The Journal of Discrete Algorithms welcomes original papers in all areas of finite and discrete algorithm design and analysis.The purpose of this journal is to feature new algorithms and data structures, new analyses or comparisons of known algorithms, complexity studies and well-focussed review articles of currently-active subject areas. Articles in other areas of theoretical computer science will also be considered when there is a clear connection to computational issues.More information of the journal can be found at:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/15708667/ and http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/672711/description#description
Guidelines for authors can also be found at:
http://authors.elsevier.com/GuideForAuthors.html?PubID=672711&dc=GFA
Software:

Special Issues CFPs

  • Special Issue on PARTICLE SWARM OPTIMIZATION
    Swarm Intelligence Journal
    SUBMISSION DEADLINE: JUNE 1, 2008.

    GUEST EDITORS:
    Riccardo Poli, University of Essex, rpoli@essex.ac.uk
    Jim Kennedy, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, kennedy.jim@gmail.com
    Andries Engelbrecht, University of Pretoria, engel@cs.up.ac.za

  • Special Issue on "Autonomous Search"
    Constraint Programming Letters
    Deadline for paper submission (provisional): June 15th, 2008

    Guest Editors:
    Youssef Hamadi, Microsoft Research Cambridge
    Eric Monfroy, Université de Nantes/UTFSM Valparaiso
    Frederic Saubion, Université d'Angers

  • Special issue on FIRST-ORDER THEOREM PROVING
    ANNALS OF MATHEMATICS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
    Paper submission deadline: May 28, 2008

    EDITORS
    Silvio Ranise   (LORIA and INRIA-Lorraine, France)
    Ullrich Hustadt (University of Liverpool, UK)

  • Special issue on APPLICATIONS AND METHODOLOGIES FOR PLANNING AND SCHEDULING
    JOURNAL OF SCHEDULING
    Submission deadline: June 15, 2008

    Guest Editors: Roman Bartk and Hana Rudov 

Events

  • FLOPS 2008, Ninth International Symposium on Functional and Logic Programming, April 14 - 16, 2008, Ise, Japan.

  • SAT 2008, 11th International Conference on Theory and Applications of Satisfiability Testing, May 12 - 15, 2008, Guangzhou, P. R. China. 

  • FLAIRS 2008, AI PLANNING AND SCHEDULING A Special Track at the 21st International FLAIRS Conference, May 15-17, 2008, Florida, USA.

  • WCB08, Workshop on Constraint Based Methods for Bioinformatics (associated to CP-AI-OR 2008), May 22th, 2008, Paris, France.

  • BPPC'08, First Workshop on Bin Packing and Placement Constraints (associated to CPAIOR 2008), May 22, 2008, Paris, France.

  • CP/AI-OR 2008, The fifth international conference on Integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Operations Research (OR) techniques in Constraint Programming for Combinatorial Optimization Problems, May 20-23, 2008, Paris, France.
     
  • MTCoord'08, 4th International Workshop on Methods and Tools for Coordinating Concurrent, Distributed and Mobile Systems, June 7, 2008, Oslo, Norway.
     
  • CSCLP 2008, Annual ERCIM Workshop on Constraint Solving and Constraint Logic Programming, June 18-20, 2008, ROME, Italy.  Paper submission deadline: 18 April 2008.
     
  • WFLP 2008, 17th International Workshop on Functional and (Constraint) Logic Programming (co-located with WWV'08), July 3-4, 2008, Siena, Italy.  Abstract/Paper submission deadlines: May 2/7, 2008. 

  • SMT-COMP 2008, 4th International Satisfiability Modulo Theories Competition, July 7 - 14, 2008, Princeton, USA.  Paper submission deadline: April 30, 2008.

  • MPREF-08, 4th Multidisciplinary Workshop on Advances in Preference Handling (AAAI-08 Workshop), July 13-14, 2008, Chicago, Illinois.  Paper submission deadline: April 7, 2008.

  • AAAI-08 Workshop on Search in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, July 13-14, 2008 (directly before AAAI) in Chicago, IL, USA.  Paper submission deadline: April 7, 2008. 

  • AAAI-08, Twenty-Third AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, July 13-17, 2008, Chicago, USA. 

  • CHR 2008, Fifth Workshop on Constraint Handling Rules (Co-located with RTA 2008), July 14, 2008, Hagenberg, Austria.  Paper submission deadline: May 5, 2008.
     
  • RTA 2008, 19th International Conference on Rewriting Techniques and Applications, July 15-17, 2008, Castle of Hagenberg, Austria.

  • UNIF 2008, 22nd International Conference on Unification, July 18, 2008, Castle of Hagenberg, Austria.  Abstract/Paper submission deadlines: Apr 28/May 5, 2008. 

  • ACM PPDP 2008, 10th ACM-SIGPLAN International Symposium on Principles and Practice of Declarative Programming, July 15-17, 2008, Valencia, Spain.  Paper submission deadline: April 10th, 2008.

  • MoChArt-2008, Fifth Workshop on MODEL CHECKING and ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (At ECAI-2008), July 2008, Patras, Greece.  Paper submission deadline: April 10th, 2008. 

  • Workshop on INFERENCE METHODS BASED ON GRAPHICAL STRUCTURES OF KNOWLEDGE (associated with ECAI 2008), 21st or 22nd July, 2008, Patras, Greece.  Paper submission deadline: April 30, 2008. 

  • Workshop on Modeling and Solving Problems with Constraints (held in conjunction with ECAI 2008), July 21-22, 2008, Patras, Greece.  Paper submission deadline: May 2, 2008.

  • AIG-08, The Workshop on AI in Games (Held at ECAI-08), Patras, Greece, July, 2008.  Paper submission deadline: May 1st, 2008.

  • ECAI 2008 Workshop on Configuration Systems, July 21 - 22, 2008, Patras, Greece.  Paper submission deadline: April 9th, 2008.

  • ECAI 2008, the 18th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, July 21-25, 2008, Patras, Greece. 

  • AMAST 2008, 12th International Conference on Algebraic Methodology and Software Technology, July 28-31, 2008, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA.

  • ARW'08, 2008 Workshop on Automated Reasoning: Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice, 30th-31st July 2008, University of Birmingham.  2-side Extended Abstracts Due: 13th June 2008.

  • CoSyScaRe 08, Workshop on Combining Systems for Efficient and Scalable Reasoning, 10/11 August, 2008, Sydney, Australia.  Paper submission deadline: 31 May, 2008.
     
  • CSLP2008, 5th International Workshop on Constraints and Language Processing (as part of the European Summer School on Logic, Language and +Information ESSLLI 2008), August 11-15, 2008, Hamburg, Germany. 

  • ITC 2008, The Second International Timetabling Competition (held with PATAT 2008),  August 19 - 22, 2008, Montreal, Canada.

  • PATAT 2008, The 7th International Conference on the Practice and Theory of Automated Timetabling, August 19 - 22, 2008, Montreal, Canada.

  • Third International CSP Solver Competition (competition workshop affiliated with CP 2008), September 14-15, 2008, Sydney, Australia.  Submission of solvers and benchmarks: May 10, 2008.
     
  • CP 2008, 14th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming (co-located with ICAPS'08), September 14 - 18, 2008, Sydney, Australia.  Tutorial proposal deadline: May 18, 2008.

  • ICAPS'08, International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (co-located with CP 2008), September 14-18, 2008, Sydney, Australia.  Paper submission deadline: April 28 / May 3, 2008.  Doctoral Consortium application deadline: June 13, 2008. 

  • SCHEALS'08, International Workshop on Scheduling in Healthcare Systems (in conjunction with ICAOR'08), 15-16 September 2008, Yerevan, Armenia.  Paper submission deadline: Apr 15, 2008. 

  • ICAOR'08, 1st International Conference on Applied Operational Research, 15-17 September 2008, Yerevan, Armenia.  Paper submission deadline: Apr 15, 2008.
     
  • CSL 2008, 17th Annual Conference of the European Association for Computer Science Logic, 15 - 20 September, 2008, Bertinoro (Bologna), Italy.

  • ANTS 2008, Sixth International Conference on Ant Colony Optimization and Swarm Intelligence, September 22-24, 2008, Brussels, Belgium. 

  • WLP 2008, 22nd Workshop on (Constraint) Logic Programming, September 30 - October 1, 2008, Dresden, Germany.  Paper submission deadline: July 20, 2008.
     
  • ICTAI 2008, The 20th IEEE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE on TOOLS with ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, November 3-5, 2008, Dayton, Ohio, USA.  Paper submission deadline: June 2, 2008.
     
  • LaSh08, WORKSHOP ON LOGIC AND SEARCH: Computation of structures from declarative descriptions, November 6-7, 2008, Leuven, Belgium.  Paper submission deadline: August 15, 2008.

  • LPAR 2008, 15th International Conference on Logic for   Programming, Artificial Intelligence and Reasoning, November 22-27, 2008, Doha, Qatar.  Abstract/Paper submission deadlines: May 26/Jun 6, 2008.

  • AI 2008, Twenty-first Australasian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 1 - 5 December, 2008, Auckland, New Zealand.  Paper submission deadline: June 16, 2008. 

  • ICLP'08, 24th International Conference on Logic Programming, December 9th-13th, 2008, Udine, Italy.  Paper submission deadline: June 9th, 2008.

  • PRICAI 2008, Tenth Pacific Rim International Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 15-19 December, 2008, Hanoi, Vietnam.  Paper submission deadline: May 26, 2008. 

  • LION 3, Learning and Intelligent OptimizatioN Conference, 14-18 January, 2009. Trento, Italy.  Paper submission deadline: 15 October, 2008.

Career news

POSTDOC OPPORTUNITIES IN HONG KONG

Department of Computer Science and Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

We are looking for motivated Postdoc fellows to work on constraint projects related to problem modeling, local search, over-constrained problems, global constraints, etc.  The ideal candidate should hold a PhD or equivalent qualification, and should normally have no more than 5 years of post-doctoral experience. Good track record in constraint related research is desirable. 

If the fellow is not a Hong Kong resident, a valid visa to work in Hong Kong must be obtained before the appointment takes effect.

Monthly salary commences at HK$23,160 per month (US$1 = HK$7.8), i.e. HK$277,920 per annum, and commensurates with qualification.  Hong Kong also enjoys a low tax rate of 15% maximum.  The appointment will be initially for one year, but can be renewed for another year subject to satisfactory performance.  Other benefits include annual leave, out-patient, and dental benefits.

We have an active research group of moderate size working on constraint programming.  Current topics of interest include, but not limited to, search algorithms (systematic, local, hybrid), problem modeling, over-constrained CSPs, and real-life applications of the above.

The University is situated in Shatin, an outskirt area of Hong Kong with convenient transportation into the city.  The campus is built on a hill-side spanning 134 hectares of land with beautiful surroundings and landscape.

Interested candidates should contact Prof. Jimmy Lee with their updated CVs.

Call for Ph.D. students and postdocs, TCS group at Univ. Pompeu Fabra

The newly constituted Theoretical Computer Science (TCS) group at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain), with members Hubie Chen and Victor Dalmau, seeks applicants for doctoral (Ph.D.) studies and for postdoctoral positions.

The group is broadly interested in the computational complexity of natural problems, logic in computer science, and their interactions with related areas such as combinatorics and universal algebra.  A primary interest is the complexity of the constraint satisfaction problem and its variants, and the related logical definability and algebraic questions that they inspire.

We seek applicants that will contribute to and benefit from an active, dynamic environment situated in a Mediterranean city renowned for its quality of life.  This group enjoys strong ties to and collaboration with a number of leading research centers.  The Universitat Pompeu Fabra is a young university and one of the four major public universities in Barcelona.

We invite e-mail inquiries at: hubie.chen@upf.edu and victor.dalmau@upf.edu.

Further information can be found at the group's website.

PhD position in Constraint Programming at Uppsala

Uppsala University (Sweden) hereby declares the following position open for application:

PhD position in Constraint Programming

at the Department of Information Technology, Division of Computing Science, with the ASTRA research group.

The position is not tied to any on-going project, so the actual doctoral research topic will be defined during the first year, based on the group's current priorities and the student's skills and preferences.

Applicants should have a solid background in algorithms, data structures, artificial intelligence, and discrete mathematics, especially combinatorics, graph theory, and logic.  Applicants should have at least an undergraduate degree.  Applicants who will finish their degree during spring/summer 2008 are also welcome to apply.  Good communication skills in oral and written English are required.  

The PhD position is for a maximum of five years and includes departmental duties at a level of at most 20% (typically teaching).

Uppsala University is striving to achieve a more equal gender balance and female candidates are particularly invited to apply.

Applications should include a brief description of research interests and past experience, a CV, copies of (where appropriate) degree diplomas and grade certificates, a copy of the graduation project (or a draft thereof), and other relevant documents.  Candidates should provide contact information to at least three referees.

For more information, please contact Assoc. Prof. Pierre Flener at telephone +46-18-471 1028.

The application should be sent to: Registrator, UFV-PA 2008/727, Uppsala universitet, Box 256, 751 05 Uppsala, Sweden; fax +46-(0)18-471 2000 or e-mail: registrator@uu.se no later than May 12, 2008.

The full advertisement is available in both Swedish and English.

PhD position at INRA Toulouse, France

Algorithms for Bayesian Network processing applied to haplotype reconstruction in complex pedigrees

The candidate will work in a team working in Artificial Intelligence and Statistical modelling. The PhD work focuses in the search of original hybrid methods combining systematic or approximated search in a large search space with dynamic programming to solve graphical models.  The problem to solve is that of haplotype reconstruction, which is particularly difficult to solve for complex pedigrees with missing or poorly informative markers, which is often the case for livestock populations. This problem can be modelled as a Bayesian network, and the aim of the work is to exploit hybrid methods so as to improve computation time for finding the optimum and proving optimality.

*Keywords:* graphical models, discrete optimization, constraint satisfaction problem, linkage analysis, haplotype, complex pedigree.

Applicants should have a master's degree with skills in discrete optimization (algorithms in graph theory, constraint satisfaction problems and/or Bayesian networks) and probability (conditional probability, estimation). Serious skills in programming (C, C++) are strictly needed.

This position is funded for three years, starting in September 2008 or later. The salary is 19800 euros per year.

*Contacts* for further information: Simon de Givry and Andrés Legarra

PhD studentships and research programmer positions at 4C

Intelligent Optimisation in Energy-Efficient Smart Buildings

The Cork Constraint Computation Centre (4C), Cork, Ireland, has funding for multiple positions in intelligent optimisation and decision support in the operation of smart buildings for energy efficiency.

ITOBO is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institution research project, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, studying the ICT developments required for the next generation of energy efficient buildings. The project scope includes integrated information models for buildings, sensor/actuator networks, control systems, and IT architectures.

4C's role in the project is to develop the decision support and optimisation techniques needed for this environment, including resource management in sensor networks, automated configuration of smart buildings, user preference modelling, and collaborative scheduling of maintenance operations.

The appointed researchers will work with Dr Ken Brown, Professor Gene Freuder and Dr Nic Wilson, and will involve close collaboration with the other ITOBO academic and industry partners. Successful candidates should have a good Honours degree in Computer Science or a related discipline. Experience of Sensor Networks, Artificial Intelligence, User Modelling, or Optimisation techniques would be an advantage.   

The Cork Constraint Computation Centre at University College Cork is one of the leading academic centres of constraint programming research in the world. The centre has about 50 members, including academics, research staff and students, from over a dozen countries and collaborates with researchers from many countries. It has an Industry Associates Program with over 50 members. 4C is part of the Department of Computer Science, but is based in its own building in the centre of Cork City, a short walk from the main UCC campus.

Currently, we have vacancies for:

* PhD studentships in the above areas, with possible immediate start.  Funding includes a stipend and academic fees.

* Research programmer, to implement practical solutions for deployment within building control systems, and to participate in the research program. The level of appointment will depend on experience.

For initial enquiries, please contact Ken Brown (k.brown at cs.ucc.ie) and Nic Wilson (n.wilson at 4c.ucc.ie).

Lectureship Opening at University College Cork

A lectureship in computer science will be advertised at University College Cork, with applications due May 2nd. This is for a five year position, with the opportunity to apply for a permanent post later.  Salary can range up to approximately 81,000 euro (128,000 dollars).  Details will be available soon.

New Masters in Automated Planning

A 1-year Masters Degree by Research (MRes) starting at Strathclyde in the 2008-09 session.

The MRes is in "Automated Planning for Autonomous Systems" and will be delivered by an expert team (Maria Fox, Derek Long, John Levine, Alex Coddington, with support from Peter Gregory, Andrew Coles, Amanda Smith and Michelle Galea). The purpose of the MRes is to prepare excellent Computer Science graduates for research in AI Planning and the development of autonomous systems, whether in academia or industry. In particular, this MRes is an excellent preparation for PhD research in planning and other areas of intelligent autonomy.

The course will cover all of the main topics in modern AI Planning, and will involve a practical project in which students will apply planning techniques to real world problems from a range of domains. We have the support of colleagues in the departments of Engineering, Physics and Bio-Engineering to develop some fascinating applied projects focussed on intelligent autonomy. We also have industrial contacts who are keen to support these projects and excited to discover the potential for applying planning to their problems.

We would be grateful if you would encourage your graduates to consider this MRes as part of their preparation for a career in AI planning and autonomy. Even though it is obviously late in the year you may know of students who are still undecided about what to do next, and we would be very pleased to hear from students wishing to take this course in the 2008-09 session. There is funding available to help support students from EU countries.

More details about the course can be found here.

And students are invited to contact Maria Fok, Derek Long, John Levine or Alex Coddington directly with any questions.

Postdoc position at UC-Irvine for 2008-2009

A postdoctoral scholar position is available in the area of Artificial Intelligence and Bioinformatics as part of the project "Efficient software and algorithms for analyzing markers data on general pedigrees". The project studies sequential and parallel constraint optimization and likelihood algorithms over mixed probabilistic and deterministic graphical models and their applicability to linkage analysis.

Initial appointment will be for a one-year period, with the possibility of extension, dependent in part on continuing extramural funding availability. Applicants must have attained a PhD in Computer Science and have prior experience with artificial intelligence systems, possess demonstrated familiarity with graphical models algorithms such as constraint networks Bayesian and Markov networks.

The salary range for this position is $33,828 to $49,452 annually, commensurate with training and experience.

Interested applicants should respond no later than the closing date of April 28, 2008 for appointment on September 1, 2008, by forwarding a cover letter, Curriculum Vitae, and the names of three references to:

Professor Rina Dechter
Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics,
Department of Computer Science
University of California, Irvine
4232 Donald Bren Hall
Irvine, CA 92697-3435

or via email.

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Stokes Lectureship in Computer Science

Applications are invited for a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Stokes Lectureship in Computer Science for which funding has been received from Science Foundation Ireland under the Stokes Lectureship Programme. Candidates are sought who can strengthen our existing research groups in one or more of the following areas:

    * complex systems;
    * computer networking and systems;       
    * constraint programming and artificial intelligence;   
    * high performance and distributed computing;   
    * real-time programming languages;   
    * the interface between mathematics and computer science.

Candidates whose interests span more than one of these areas are particularly welcome. Candidates with the potential to interact with bioscience, environmental, micro / nanoelectronic, photonic and / or microsystems research are also particularly welcome.

University College Cork (UCC) has received funding under the Stokes Lectureship Programme, subject to SFI approval of the specific candidate. Funding for this position is available for five years, subject to SFI terms and conditions, including satisfactory annual progress reports. Furthermore, the College of Science, Engineering & Food Science, with the full support of the University Management Group, is committed to making available staff positions against all of the Lecturer posts approved for UCC by SFI through the Stokes Lectureship Programme. These posts, which will be advertised for open competition, will be suitable for and available to the Stokes appointees to apply for within the period of the SFI funding.

Candidates are expected to have a proven record of internationally recognised research accomplishments and to have at least two years of independent research experience beyond the PhD or equivalent. The successful candidate will be required to apply for an SFI Principal Investigator award (or equivalent) to fund their research activities within 18 months of their appointment or start date. Candidates holding permanent posts in any Irish Higher Education Institution are ineligible to apply. The appointment must be made by the 07th November 2008.

For informal discussion, please contact:   

Professor Eugene Freuder, Department of Computer Science,

    Tel: +353 21 4255401 / Email: e.freuder@4c.ucc.ie   / Website: http://www.cs.ucc.ie/

Appointment will be made within the following salary scales depending on qualifications and experience. Salary scales [new entrants]: EURO 36,500 - EURO 59,293 Bar EURO 64,974 - EURO 85,592. As this is an SFI funded post, the salary arrangements would be required to operate within the annual SFI standard budget.

Closing date: Friday, 02nd May 2008

For further information see:
http://www.ucc.ie/en/hr/EmploymentOpportunities/AcademicVacancies/
ScienceFoundationIrelandSFIStokesLectureshipinComputerScience/

Application forms must be completed, and are available at the above website or from:

Department of Human Resources, University College Cork, Ireland.

Tel: + 353 21 4903073 / Email: recruitment@per.ucc.ie / Fax + 353 214276995

University College Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer

PhD studentship in algorithmic game theory: University of Southampton

A PhD student position (a full tuition waiver + a stipend of 13 000 GBP/year) is available in the Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia group of the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton. The successful applicant will work with Dr. Edith Elkind and Prof. Nick Jennings on topics in algorithmic game theory and computational social choice. The School is a world class centre of research excellence, awarded the highest grade (5*) in the UK's last two Research Assessment Exercises.

The IAM group has a great team of researchers working in various areas of multiagent systems with a strong interest in game-theoretic aspects of multiagent research, and collaboration with other members of the group is strongly encouraged.

The funding is available for 3 years, starting in Fall 2008 (exact date is negotiable) with preference given to EU students (though exceptional non-EU students will be considered). Applicants should have or expect to gain a good undergraduate degree in computer science, mathematics, economics, or related area, and be interested in doing original research. A background in algorithm design and/or game theory is helpful, but not required.

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr. Elkind.  To learn more about University of Southampton and to submit your application, see the ECS Postgraduate Admissions.

Application closing date: May 10, 2008.

PhD OPEN POSITION    University of  Nice - Sophia Antipolis

A constraint over the floating point number solver for software validation and verification.

Constraint programming techniques provide an effective mean to handle software validation and verification problems. During the last years, these techniques have been successfully applied to automatic test cases generation, as well as, to the verification of the conformity of a program with its specification. However, available systems are restricted to programs with integer and Boolean data types. The goal of this PhD thesis is to design and implement a floating point number constraint solver to extend these approaches to programs with floating point number computations.

The behaviour of floating point number computation is difficult to model. Naive approaches based on interval techniques over the real numbers may loose some solutions. Moreover, available filtering techniques for floating point number constraints are not enough efficient to handle non-trivial programs. The purpose of this work is to design efficient algorithms and new techniques to handle floating point number constraints by using, for instance, linear programming or abstract interpretation techniques.

This work will be partially supported by the French ANR project CAVERN
 http://www.polytech.unice.fr/~rueher/CEP/en/index.html


The applicant will work within the CeP team at the I3S laboratory in Sophia Antipolis
(http://www.i3s.unice.fr/I3S/labos/labo3.html). This position is funded for three years; annual salary:  € 21 000.


For more information, please contact:
Michel Rueher (rueher_at_polytech_dot_unice_dot_fr)
Claude Michel (cpjm_at_polytech_dot_unice_dot_fr)


Applicants should have a master's degree with skills in constraint programming, formal specification and software engineering. Applications should include a brief description of research interests and past experience, a CV, copies of (where appropriate) degree diplomas and grade certificates, a copy of the graduation project (or a draft thereof), and other relevant documents.  Candidates should provide contact information to at least three referees.

The application should be sent by e-mail: phd_cavern@i3s.unice.fr

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