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Future of Constraint Programming

I find constraint programming to be an interesting field. A lot of the work in the area is really operations research (in my view): problems are modelled within a particular structure, and solutions are then found to the models. Most constraint programmers don’t consider themselves in OR, preferring to stay within the computer science world.

As a maturing field, it is not surprising that people in the field are now thinking about where the field is going, and what are the important questions (early in a field, I think people just do things!). There is going to be a workshop at this fall’s Constraint Programming conference. Here is the announcement

CP workshop on “the next 10 years of Constraint Programming”

We are pleased to announce that the Twelfth International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming (CP06: will include a special workshop on “the next 10 years of constraint programming”. The goal of this event will be to discuss the following questions:- What are the achievements of the field during the last 10 years?
– What is the perception of CP by users and other research communities?
– What are the research directions for CP in 2006?
– What role can CP play within computer science research and industry?
– What are the strategic research directions likely to be in 2016?
– What application domains are of interest to us in the future?

The workshop will include a panel of invited speakers from both academia and industry, and will also leave ample time for public discussions. The content of the workshop is largely to be defined and all researchers and practitioners interested in the future of Constraint Programming are invited to share their comments and propose discussion threads through the Yahoo! group of the Association for Constraint Programming:

Lucas Bordeaux
Barry O’Sullivan
Pascal Van Hentenryck

It will be interesting to see what they come up with.