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From ERCIM Working Group Constraints

ERCIM Working Group on Constraints

ERCIM - the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics aims to foster collaborative work within the European research community and to increase co-operation with European industry. Leading research institutes from eighteen European countries are members of ERCIM.

Constraints have recently emerged as a research area that combines researchers from a number of fields, including Artificial Intelligence, Programming Languages, Symbolic Computing and Computational Logic.

Constraint networks and constraint satisfaction problems have been studied in Artificial Intelligence starting from the seventies. Systematic use of constraints in programming has started in the eighties. In constraint programming the programming process consists of a generation of requirements (constraints) and solution of these requirements, by specialised constraint solvers.

Constraint programming has been successfully applied in numerous domains. Recent applications include computer graphics (to express geometric coherence in the case of scene analysis), natural language processing (construction of efficient parsers), database systems (to ensure and/or restore consistency of the data), operations research problems (like optimization problems), molecular biology (DNA sequencing), business applications (option trading), electrical engineering (to locate faults), circuit design (to compute layouts), etc.

Current research in this area deals with various foundational issues, with implementation aspects and with new applications of constraint programming. The concept of constraint solving forms the central aspect of this research.

Objectives of the Working Group

The ERCIM Constraints working group aims to bring together ERCIM researchers that are involved in research on the subject of constraint programming and related areas. Its primary aims are:

  • to promote research on this subject within the ERCIM institutions,
  • facilitate the exchange of information,
  • coordinate efforts in technology transfer,
  • facilitate the exchange of researchers for short and long visits.

Group Coordinators

Chair: Barry O'Sullivan, University College Cork, Ireland