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Combinatorial Problem Solving


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Combinatorial Problem Solving

Quintus Prolog


The Combinatorial Problem Solving group conducts its research along two related tracks:

Constraint programming over finite domains. We (Beldiceanu, Carlsson) investigate solver architectures and filtering algorithms, using SICStus Prolog and its CLP(FD) solver as our research platform. The research is focused on global constraints, with the ultimate goal of developing the next generation of constraint programming tools. We are actively pursuing the following topics:

  • A systematic classification of global constraints into constraint families. (Draft).
  • Using this classification for designing languages for modeling, visualization, and expressing heuristics.
  • Searching for essential principles from which one can derive several constraint propagation algorithms.
  • Development of efficient constraint algorithms that reuse or adapt existing work from data structures, graph theory, and geometry.
Case studies from industrial settings involving innovative use of constraint programming provide invaluable feedback and inspiration for our work. In TACIT, we applied the technology to scheduling and production planning for a steel mill. In one study, we investigated the combination of integer programming and constraint programming techniques to configuration problems. In another study in the same domain, we developed and applied the new global constraint case, with which arbitrary relations can be defined as constraints.

Prolog technology. We (Carlsson, Danielsson, Mildner) develop and maintain SICStus Prolog and Quintus Prolog which run on UNIX and Windows platforms. Both Prologs have hundreds of licenses and offer full Prolog and powerful extensions.

SICStus Prolog is our platform for both constraint programming research and Prolog implementation research. In a recent Master's Thesis project, the benefits of different virtual machine instruction encodings for SICStus Prolog were investigated.




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