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2020 Quarter 3 REPORT FROM THE ASSOCIATION FOR CONSTRAINT PROGRAMMING.
This is a short summary of activities within the ACP during the months August - November 2020.
The 2020 ACP Executive Committee (EC) comprises the following people, in alphabetical order: Sophie Demassey - Treasurer. Maria Garcia de la Banda - President. Emmanuel Hebrard. Michele Lombardi. Laurent Michel. Claude-Guy Quimper - Conference Coordinator. Charlotte Truchet - Secretary
The ACP EC 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: CP 2020
The CP 2020 conference was held on September 7-11th, 2020. For the first time, due to the Covid crisis, it was a virtual event, with 508 registered participants. The Conference Chairs were Tias Guns (VUB, Belgium), Siegfried Nijssen (UCLouvain, Belgium) and Pierre Schaus (UCLouvain, Belgium).
The program committee, chaired by Helmut Simonis (Insight Centre for Data Analytics, Ireland), accepted 55 articles out of 122 submissions. The program also featured one keynote, by Andrea Rendl (Satalia) on Optimisation in Practice, and three tutorials by Simon de Givry and Thomas Schiex (INRAE, France), on Numbers and Logic Together in CP: A Practical View of Cost Function Networks, Michela Milano and Michele Lombardi (University of Bologna, Italy) on Boosting Combinatorial Optimization via Machine Learning, and Christopher Jefferson (University of St Andrews, Scotland) on The Theory and Practice of Symmetry in Constraints: How to find it, and break it. In addition, three workshops were held during the conference: CPTAI 2020 (From Constraint Programming to Trustworthy AI), PTHG 2020 (Fourth Workshop on Progress Towards the Holy Grail) and ModRef 2020 (19th International Workshop on Constraint Modelling and Reformulation).
Most of the presentations are available on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQsTD5thbBxZKQW6UR-gh6Q
ACP2. ACP Autumn School
The 2020 ACP summer school has been rescheduled, due to the Covid crisis, as a 2020 Autumn School. It will take place on November 23-27th in Toulouse, France. The local organizers are Christian Artigues (LAAS-CNRS) and Marie-José Huguet (LAAS-CNRS, INSA Toulouse).
This year's topic is "Combinatorial Optimization, Constraint Programming, and Machine Learning", with technical lectures and practical sessions. Prior knowledge of Constraint Programming is not required, but if you already have some experience in heuristics, mathematical programming, or even constraint programming, then we think that you can benefit a lot from this summer school.
Participation is free, and can be onsite (for a limited number of participants) or online. Check the program and register at: https://acp-iaro-school.sciencesconf.org/
ACP.3 Distinguished Service Award 2020
The ACP Service Award for 2020 has been posthumously awarded to Christian Schulte (KTH Stockholm, Sweden), in recognition of his contributions to the field of constraint programming and his sustained service by providing mentorship, leadership and significantly improving the use of CP in practice, through the development of highly effective systems and their deployment in real-world applications.
Christian passed away in March this year. To quote Helmut Simonis, Chair of CP2020, Christian was "a long-time member of the community, and designer of the popular open-source Gecode system. He was posthumously awarded the ACP Service Award for 2020, and the Doctoral Thesis award was renamed in his honour. Christian was remembered in a special session by an overview of his numerous technical achievements, but also his interaction with and encouragement of colleagues and students. "
The video of the ceremony in memoriam Christian Schulte can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDcYA-oj8jg
ACP.4 Christian Schulte Doctoral Research Award 2020
The ACP Doctoral Research Award has been renamed Christian Schulte Doctoral Research Award. The 2020 Christian Schulte Doctoral Research Award has been awarded to Dr Jeremias Berg, from the University of Helsinki, for his thesis entitled Solving Optimization Problems via Maximum Satisfiability: Encodings and Re-Encodings. The committee also attributed a runner-up award to Dr. Peter Fulla, from Oxford University, for his thesis On the Valued Constraint Satisfaction Problem. The award committee was headed by Ian Gent, with Anastasia Papparizou and George Katsirelos.
ACP.5 Election Results 2020
Four members of the Executive Committee (EC) end their term in December 2020 (Maria Garcia de la Banda, Laurent Michel, Claude-Guy Quimper and Charlotte Truchet). Elections were run during summer 2020. Among the 251 registered voters, 168 did cast a vote, with a participation rate of 67%.
We welcome four newly elected EC members: Chris Beck, David Bergman, Tias Guns and Zeynep Kiziltan.
**ACP.6 Referendum Results on the Publisher of the CP Proceedings **
Following the discussions at the 2019 General Assembly, the ACP held a vote during summer 2020, about the publisher of CP proceedings. The question was: "Do you want to change to LIPICS as publisher for CP2021, or to remain with Springer?". Among the 251 registered voters, 168 did cast a vote, with the following results:
Remain with Springer : 51 votes (30%). Change to LIPICS : 91 (54%). Abstain : 26 (16%)
Since it obtained a majority of cast votes, this vote is binding for the ACP. The process of moving the CP proceedings to LIPICS has been engaged.
ACP.7 CP2021 Location and Chair
CP 2021 will be held in Montpellier, France, in October 2021. The Conference Chairs are Carmen Gervet (University of Montpellier, ESPACE DEV) and Philippe Vismara (Montpellier SupAgro, MISTEA LIRMM). The Program Chair is Laurent Michel (University of Connecticut). The format of the conference (online, onsite, hybrid) depends on the evolution of the Covid pandemic and will be announced when possible.
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