2014 Quarter 1

REPORT FROM THE ASSOCIATION FOR CONSTRAINT PROGRAMMING

This is a short summary of activities within the ACP during the months January-March 2014.

The 2014 ACP Executive Committee comprises the following people, in alphabetical order.

  • Yves Deville
  • Pierre Flener - Conference Coordinator
  • Willem-Jan van Hoeve - Secretary
  • Barry O'Sullivan (ex-officio, non-voting)
  • Thomas Schiex - Treasurer
  • Helmut Simonis - President
  • Guido Tack
  • Roland Yap

The ACP Executive Committee 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 Summer School 2014
  • ACP.2: An Update on CP 2014
  • ACP.3: Elections for Executive Committee Members: Call for Nominations
  • ACP.4: ACP Doctoral Research Award: Call for Nominations
  • ACP.5: ACP Distinguished Service Award: Call for Nominations
  • ACP.6: Call for Bids for the Hosting of CP 2015 and CP 2016
  • ACP.7: YouTube Channel of the ACP
  • ACP.8: Decisions by the ACP-EC
  • ACP.9: ACP Committee for Strategic Planning: Call for Community Input

ACP.1. ACP Summer School 2014

The 2014 edition of the ACP Summer School will be held in Bologna (Italy) from June 16 to June 20, with the topic "Practical Constraint Programming".

The school is meant for CP researchers and practitioners with an academic or industrial background, interested in using Constraint Programming and Hybrid Methods to tackle real world optimisation problems.

The school lecturers include renowned experts in the field as well as young talented researchers. In particular, lectures will be given by:

  • Michela Milano (University of Bologna)
  • Pascal Van Hentenryck (NICTA)
  • Laurent Perron (Google)
  • Paul Shaw (IBM)
  • Willem-Jan van Hoeve (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • Andrea Lodi (University of Bologna and IBM)
  • Louis-Martin Rousseau (CIRRELT, Polytechnique de Montréal)
  • Hadrien Cambazard (Grenoble Institute of Technology)

The lectures will cover technical topics as well as the experience of the speakers about tackling real world problems. More details can be found on the school web site at: http://school.a4cp.org/summer2014/

The school will also feature a substantial amount of hands-on sessions, organised by Laurent Perron, using the "Google or-tools" system (participants should bring their laptops).

The school has a fee of 150 EUR. The application deadline is May 25 2014.

ACP.2. An Update on CP 2014

The International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming will take place in Lyon, France, from September 8th to September 12th, 2014.

This will be the 20th edition of the annual conference on all aspects of computing with constraints, including: theory, algorithms, environments, languages, models and systems, applications such as decision making, resource allocation, and agreement technologies.

Tracks

In addition to the technical track and application track, this year's conference will also feature for the first time a journal track in which published journal papers will be presented.

Tutorials

Tutorials are expected to give an in-depth presentation of emerging and exciting topics that are relevant to a broad swath of the constraint programming community. Past CP conferences featured tutorials on numeral CSPs, global constraints, languages, Disaster Management, Decision Diagrams and connection with mathematical programming. Topics currently at the fore-front of research activities with successes, major advances, and significant impact are particularly welcome. The tutorials will take place during the main technical programme.

The deadline for submitting tutorial proposals is May 12, 2014. See http://cp2014.a4cp.org/calltutorial for more details.

Doctoral Programme

Also this year there will be a doctoral programme alongside the CP conference. This programme provides an opportunity for current doctoral students to meet each other as well as more senior researchers in the field. Participation in the Doctoral Programme will include the presentation of the student's work via both talk and poster, and discussions with a mentor that has similar research interests.

There are funds available to support students by providing free conference registration and free ticket to the doctoral programme dinner. Priority will be given based on the quality of the submissions.

The submission deadline is Sunday, 15 June 2014. More details about the application can be found at http://cp2014.a4cp.org/calldp.

ACP.3. Elections for Executive Committee Members: Call for Nominations

We seek nominations for candidates for election to the Executive Committee (EC) of the ACP. A candidate must be an ACP member and be nominated by a member of the ACP. Nominated persons must agree to be a candidate and must write an election statement that will be posted on the ACP election site.

Please send your nominations and election statements to the Secretary of the ACP (secretary@a4cp.org) by July 1, 2014.

We recall that the Executive Committee of the ACP decides the venue of the annual CP international conference, as well as its programme and conference chairs. It also organises and supports other activities such as the CP doctoral programme, the ACP summer school, the ACP newsletter, web sites, etc. Finally, it retains the surplus from CP conferences and re-invests it in other activities of the CP research community.

Bylaw 5 of the ACP Bylaws (see www.a4cp.org) states the election procedure and rules. The term of EC members is 4 years, and four current EC members will end their term by the end of 2014: Helmut Simonis, Thomas Schiex, Yves Deville, and Roland Yap. Therefore, we shall run an election for four members to a four-year term.
The Election Committee will be chaired by the secretary of the ACP (Willem van Hoeve).

Elections will take place electronically in August, 2014. The results will be communicated to the ACP members before CP 2014.

The full rules are set out in the ACP website at www.a4cp.org.

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

The Executive Committee of the ACP invites nominations for the 2014 ACP Doctoral Research Award. The ACP Doctoral Research Award is awarded every year to a promising young researcher working in the area of constraint programming and who defended his/her thesis between January and December in the last two calendar years. The award, in the form of a certificate, will be presented at the CP 2014 conference, where the winning researcher will present a talk on the topic of his/her doctoral dissertation. The award includes a cash prize of 500 euros, plus free registration for the conference.

Past winners of this award can be found at: http://www.a4cp.org/awards/doctoral-research-award

The deadline for submitting nominations is June 1, 2014. More details can be found at http://www.a4cp.org/node/900.

ACP.5. ACP Distinguished Service Award: Call for Nominations

The Executive Committee of the ACP invites nominations for the 2014 ACP award for Distinguished Service to the Constraint Programming Community, which will be presented at CP 2014 in Lyon, France. The purpose of this award is to celebrate those CP community members who have made exceptional contributions to the CP community. Areas of service could include, but are not limited to: association service, service as an editor, conference organisation, representation of CP in other organisations, etc, resulting in positive effects on the field of CP. The recipient of this award will have all costs of his/her participation at the CP conference covered by the ACP.

Past winners of this award can be found at: http://www.a4cp.org/awards/distinguished-service-award

The deadline for submitting nomination packages is June 1, 2014. More details can be found at http://www.a4cp.org/node/901.

ACP.6. Call for Bids for the Hosting of CP 2015 and CP 2016

The ACP likes to plan CP conferences two years in advance. We would like to solicit bids from those who are considering hosting the CP conference in 2015 and 2016. Such bids, following the guidelines at http://www.a4cp.org/events/conference-organisation-policy, are to be sent to conf-coordinator@a4cp.org by Friday 30 May 2014. In case a convincing enough early bid is received for CP 2016, then the location of CP 2016 will be decided upon this year, and next year’s call for bids will be for CP 2017 only.

ACP.7. YouTube Channel of the ACP

The ACP now has a channel at YouTube: see https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKiP5edRx7G10LI6YvYeIQQ . It has been initialised with videos of many of the plenary sessions at CP 2013.

ACP.8. Decisions by the ACP-EC

Also this year the CP conference will have a senior programme committee to oversee the peer-reviewing process. As part of this process a physical senior programme committee meeting will take place. The EC has decided to partially sponsor this event.

ACP.9. ACP Committee for Strategic Planning: Call for Community Input

Deadline: May 18, 2014

The Executive Committee (EC) of the ACP established a committee focused on strategic planning for the CP community. The goals of this committee are to:

  • reflect upon achievements to date;
  • identify a core mission;
  • define a set of values and objectives for the future;
  • develop a strategy to help guide the community to achieve them;
  • propose a set of metrics to measure our performance at meeting those objectives;
  • produce a reference document reporting on the above.

Members of the committee are:

  • Barry O'Sullivan, Pascal Van Hentenryck, Francesca Rossi (proposers and organisers of the committee)
  • Christine Solnon, Michela Milano, Mike Trick, Toby Walsh (members)
  • Pierre Flener (ACP EC representative)

The committee has already engaged in significant discussion about the main issues. We will report on that at CPAIOR 2014. However, it is essential to consult with the whole CP community. We therefore encourage everybody in the community to

  • raise issues,
  • ask questions,
  • provide topics for discussion,
  • point out problems in the scientific advancements of CP, or
  • put forward any other issues related to the goals of the strategic committee,

by May 18, 2014, by responding to the following survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TZ6DZBD

If you have any problem or question about the survey or about anything related to the ACP strategic committee initiative, feel free to ask Francesca Rossi (frossi@math.unipd.it). Air Max 1