Executive Committee Decisions 2007

January 1st to March 31th, 2007

CP 2008

Two bids to host the CP 2008 conference were presented in the open call. The ACP EC selected the one from Sydney, Australia, presented by Toby Walsh. So CP 2008 will be held in Sydney in September 2008 and it will be colocated with a number of other conferences, among which ICAPS, KR, and NMR. Toby Walsh will be the Conference Chair.

CP 2008 Program Chair

ACP EC members presented candidates for the position of CP 2008 Program Chair. A three phase voting procedure using Borda count was adopted to choose the PC. Initially, 14 candidates were presented. At the end, we decided to appoint Peter Stuckey as CP 2008 Program Chair.

Sponsorships

We decided to support the following events:
  • CSCLP 2007: Annual ERCIM Workshop on Constraint Solving and Constraint Logic Programming, co-located with the French speaking days on Constraint Programming (JFPC'07), June 7th-8th 2007, INRIA Rocquencourt, France. The support amounts at 1000 euros.
  • CP AI OR 2007: Fourth International Conference on Integration of AI and OR Techniques in Constraint Programming for Combinatorial Optimization Problems, May 23-26, 2007 - Brussels, Belgium. The support amounts at 2000 euros.
  • CP 2007 Summer School. The support amounts at 4500 euros.

ACP awards

Besides the current ACP research award and CP best paper award, we decided to add an award for best Ph.D. thesis. The rules and call for nominations for such an award will be sent out soon. We also decided to cover the expenses of the partipation to the CP conference for the receipients of the research award and the Ph.D. thesis award.

Feedback on Doctoral Program

Zeynep Kiziltan is organizing the on-line procedure to get feedback from students and organizers of the past editions of the doctoral program. Emma Rollon is implementing the web site, that will be ready very soon. A mail will soon be sent to all past students and organizers asking them to fill the on-line questionnaire.

CP 2007 Summer School

The Third Summer School on Constraint Programming will take place in Lloret de Mar (Spain), from June 10 to June 14. It is organized by Javier Larrosa and Pedro Meseguer. It will be a general school, with courses on different aspects of constraint programming. The program of the school includes:
  • Symmetries in CP, by Barbara Smith
  • Continuous constraints, by Frederic Benhamou
  • SAT and CSP, by Lucas Bordeaux
  • Operations Research in CP, by John Hooker
  • CP systems, by Christian Schulte
  • Complexity in Combinatorial Problems, by Jerome Lang
The early registration deadline expires May 15, 2007. For more information, see the web site: http://www.iiia.csic.es/summerschols/sscp2007/

April 1st to June 30th, 2007

ACP Research award

The call for nominations was sent out in April-May, and the award committee (composed of C. Bessiere, E. Freuder, P. Meseguer (chair), F. Rossi, P. Van Hentenryck) decided to give the 2007 ACP award for research excellence to Rina Dechter, for her multiple and significant contributions to CP. Rina will receive the award at CP 2007, where she will be invited to give a talk about her reseach activities.

DP feedback procedure

Six years after the first CP doctoral program in 2001, the ACP EC decided to have a procedure where students and organizers can give their opinions about the various aspects of the doctoral program, in order to possibly improve the structure and content of this initiative in future years. Zeynep Kiziltan was in charge of the whole procedure, which involvd a detailed questionnaire to be filled in by students and organizers of the past editions of the doctoral program. Emma Rollon built a very nice web site where the questions were presented and there was also space to give open comments. The procedure was successfully received by both students and organizers, who entered their opinions. Zeynep then collected and summarized the responses in a report that will be passed to the organizers of future doctoral programs and that will also be made available on the ACP web site and possibly presented at CP 2007. The ACP EC deeply thanks both Zeynep and Emma for their hard work.

CP 2007 support

As usual, the AC EC supports fully the CP conference, and gives money even before the conference to take care of advance payments. This year we gave: 13.5K euros as seed money for the expenses of the conference, and 10K euros money to support the doctoral program.

ACP EC elections

The current members of the Executive Committee of the Association for Constraint Programming are: Frederic Benhamou, Narendra Jussien, Javier Larrosa, Jimmy Lee, Pedro Meseguer, Michela Milano, Barry O'Sullivan, Jean Charles Regin, Francesca Rossi, Christian Schulte, Mike Trick, and Peter Van Beek. According to the rules of the ACP (see www.a4cp.org), Javier Larrosa, Pedro Meseguer, Michela Milano, and Peter Van Beek will end their term this summer, while Christian Bessiere and one of the conference chairs of CP 2007 (Meinolf Sellmann or Michel Laurent) will enter the ACP EC. We are now running an election to choose two new members of the ACP EC. The call for candidates will be out very soon, with a probable deadline of July 30th to present the candidates. Elections will take place in August-mid September, and the results will be announced at CP 2007.

AFPC news

The third French-speaking Constraint Programming Days (JFPC) were held in Rocquencourt (France) from June 4 to June 6 just before the annual CSCLP ERCIM workshop. During this occasion, the French Association for Constraint Programming (AFPC) held its general assembly on June, 4. Elections took place and a new Administrative Council has been elected. The new official of the association are Narendra Jussien, president ; Christine Solnon, vice-president ; Pierre Deransart, general secretary and Bertrand Mazure, secretary. During the 2007-2008 period, the association will organize the fourth JFPC in Nantes (France) with a programme committee defined by Gilles Trombettoni and a French-speaking school on Constraint Programming. Moreover, documents aimed at the general audience will be produced to help the promotion of Constraint Programming. - Narendra Jussien, PhD, HdR. Ecole des Mines de Nantes

July 1st to September 30th, 2007

2007 EC elections

To increase the level of security in the election process, a new election software was developed by Pedro Meseguer. It includes the generation of passwords, the use of encryption for vote confirmation and the duplication of votes in different servers in real time. The 2007 ACP EC elections took place in August-September 2007. There were two open slots. The call for candidates was sent out in early July, with deadline July 30. Three candidates were presented. While the ACP rules state that the ACP secretary should run the elections, this time the secretary (Pedro Meseguer) was one of the candidates, so the EC decided to have the elections run by another member of the EC. Jean Charles Regin voluntereed to run them but was unable to accomplish the task, so Barry O'Sullivan accepted to run them. The call for votes was sent out on August 22. The election period ran from August 22 to September 15, 2007. Among the candidates, the elected ones are Pedro Meseguer and Thomas Schiex. They will remain in the EC for a 3 year term.

Call for 2008 CP Summer School

The call for bids for the 2008 Summer School was sent out on September 11. The deadline for bids is October 30 (earlier than previous years to give more time to the school organizers). Members of the CP community who are interested in organizing the 2008 CP summer school should send a proposal to Jimmy Lee (jlee@cse.cuhk.edu.hk) by October 30th, 2007, containing at least the following information:
  1. topic of the school
  2. location
  3. dates
  4. organizers
  5. provisional budget

Resignations

Jean-Charles Regin, Frederic Benhamou and Narendra Jussien resigned from their positions in the EC. Meinolf Sellman and Laurent Michel, who could have one seat in the EC as CP 2007 co-chairs, decided not to take this seat.

New ACP bylaws

In these three months, the EC finalized the discussion, started almost one year ago, on a new version of the ACP bylaws. This discussion has been led by Mike Trick and was carried on within a subcommittee of the EC. The main goals of the new bylaws were: a full elected EC, more power to the General Assembly, and a clearer membership procedure. The EC proposal for new bylaws was discussed at the ACP general assembly, during the CP 2007 conference, and was approved by the assembly without any opposing vote. The new version of the bylaws will be posted soon on the ACP web site.

CP 2007

The CP 2007 conference took place in Providence, RI, USA, on September 22-27, 2007. It was colocated with ICAPS 2007. The conference was very successful, with 172 participants to CP and 210 to ICAPS. The program of CP 2007 included 52 paper presentations (of which 9 were application papers), 14 posters, 3 tutorials, 3 invited lectures, and 6 solver presentations. The conference received 165 submissions, of which 143 to the general track and 22 to the application track. The EC would like to thank Meinolf Sellmann, Laurent Michel, Christian Bessiere, and the whole program committee for their hard work.

October 1st to December 31th, 2007

Appointment of the Officers of the EC

The first item of business was for the EC to appoint from amongst its members the officers for the current year. The current list of officers is: Officers (with terms):
  • President: Barry O'Sullivan (Elected 2005-2008, President until the end of 2008)
  • Secretary: Jimmy H.M. Lee (Elected 2006-2009, Secretary until end of 2008)
  • Treasurer: Thomas Schiex (Elected 2007-2010, Treasurer until end of 2008)
  • Conference Coordinator: Pedro Meseguer (Elected 2007-2010, Conference coordinator until end of 2008)
Other members (with terms):
  • Christian Bessiere (Non-Elected Member 2007-2009, Program Chair of CP2007)
  • Francesca Rossi (Elected 2005-2008)
  • Christian Schulte (Elected 2006-2009)
  • Michael Trick (Elected 2006-2009)

ACP Bank Account Transfer

The change of Treasurer necessitated that the bank account of the ACP be moved to Toulouse, where our current Treasurer is located.

Implementation of the new bylaws

We are currently implementing some infrastructure to facilitate the new bylaws of the ACP, which were adopted by the community at the General Assembly at CP 2007. Jimmy Lee, as Secretary to the EC, has been gathering together a complete record of the membership of the ACP. This specifically contains the name, affiliation, email address, and CP conferences over the last 5 years attended by each member. We plan to give access to each member to his/her details through a web-site through a username/password system so each member can update these details, as appropriate.

ACP Summer School

This year's ACP Summer School will be held in St. Andrews, Scotland, in June 2008. The topic of this year's school will be "Modelling with Constraints: Theory and Practice". As well as lecture series from world-class researchers, participants will use the Minion constraint solver and the Essence modelling language in practical modelling exercises. St Andrews University computers will be supplied for this. The Summer School is being organised by Ian Gent, Karen Petrie and Angela Miguel. Over the coming weeks they will make a web-site and more details available on the summer school.

Proposal for a European Science Foundation Network on Constraints

A proposal for a European Science Foundation network on constraint programming was submitted at the end of October. If accepted, this will provide funding to the community to travel, run events, raise the profile of CP at a European level. While ESF is a European agency, it encourages global collaboration. Therefore, the network can involve members of the community working outside of Europe. This ESF programme is often over-subscribed, so the EC will be alert to other opportunities to generate funding to support interaction within the community. Some specific details of the proposal: the Principal Applicant of the proposal was Barry O'Sullivan. Many others provided useful input or offered assistance: Pedro Barahona, Nicolas Beldicenau, Christian Bessiere, Stefano Bistarelli, Francois Fages, Eugene Freuder, Alan Frisch, Pedro Meseguer, Michela Milano, Yehuda Naveh, Francesca Rossi and Christian Schulte. If the proposal is accepted it will be administered through the Cork Constraint Computation Centre. The duration would be for 5 years. The funding would cover meetings/workshops, short-term research visits, a student fellowship programme, promotion and publicity. The total amount requested is 580,000 euro.

Sponsorships

The funds available to the ACP are mostly used for sponsoring events. As well as supporting our flag-ship conference CP 2009 and the summer school, we have agreed to sponsor CP-AI-OR 2008.

Call for Bids for CP 2009

The call for bids for CP 2009 has been circulated. The deadline for bids is the end of February.

Planned Activities for 2008

To give members an idea of what they can expect in 2008, I list here some activities that we have planned for 2008:
  • The ACP-EC will offer an a best dissertation award. The call for this will be issued in the first quarter of 2008. The award ceremony for the 2008 Award will be made at CP 2008. A number of other awards are being considered, but no final decision has been made on these yet.
  • The call for nominations for the ACP Research Excellence Award will be circulated soon.
  • The ACP-EC will investigate opportunities to submit proposals to other funding agencies for networking/collaboration supports to develop integration. LNCS now listed on the ISI Proceedings index.

CP proceedings and LNCS

Dear ACP Members,

Last year it seems that the LNCS series was moved from the ISI SCI index to the ISI Proceedings index. An email from Springer, which can be found here gives some details.

This is relevant to the CP community since many of our conference publications appear in the LNCS series. However, it should be noted that LNCS volumes are not treated differently to any other proceedings at this point.

Best wishes,

Barry O'Sullivan, President of the Association of Constraint Programming (sent on behalf of the ACP Executive Committee)
From: Kramer, Anna, Springer DE [mailto:Anna.Kramer@springer.com]
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2007 1:19 PM
Subject: LNCS and ISI

LNCS is no longer indexed in ISI's SCI. Instead, it is included in the ISI Proceedings list, which, together with their Web of Science, consitutes their Web of Knowledge, and which they consider to be their representative and comprehensive index for conference papers (whereas SCI(E) is thought of as the index focusing on journal papers). We hope that systematic indexing of LNCS's content in ISI Proceedings constitutes partial compensation of the loss of SCI(E). Furthermore, LNCS is listed in various other indexing and abstracting services such as DBLP, ZBlMath/CompuServe, core EI Compendex database, IO-Port, ACM Portal, Scopus, INSPEC, etc.

Although LNCS is now listed in ISI Proceedings, the series does constitute a lot more than "just" a proceedings series. For one thing, the papers presented at the conferences need to have passed through a stringent selection process, for another thing, we have an Editorial Board, the members of which are also involved in the selection process (of the conferences to be published in LNCS), and, in addition, many of our publications have a ournal-like quality, such as the coloured-cover sub-series (consisting of Festschrifts, State-of-the-Art Surveys, Tutorials, Hot Topics, and Dissertations) and the transactions sub-series. These contain lengthy and detailed papers, often by invited researchers. A small number of excellent monographs are also included.

We are aware that this is of no help whatsoever if Universities/funding institutions take inclusion in the SCI as the main criterion for academic promotion or research funding. Please note, however, that Springer has had no influence over this decision.

Anna Kramer, Springer, Computer Science Editorial.

4C Wins Two Awards

On November 1st, 4C (www.4c.ucc.ie), together with the Irish company TreeMetrics (www.treemetrics.com) won the it@cork Leaders Award in the R&D Project category. This project is led on the 4C end by a Science Foundation Ireland funded staff member, Dr. James Little, and also has support from an Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership, TRIO: Timber Recovery using enhanced Information and Optimisation. TreeMetrics and 4C are working together to develop a new set of forest planning tools based on the combination of several Artificial Intelligence and Optimisation technologies. Treemetrics delivers accurate scanning information of trees in a forest. 4C uses this as the input for a set of decision support tools to predict the shape of the whole tree, how to cut it, where to send the resulting logs, and when in the year this should be done. 4C's technology has increased the value of the information; turning it into key knowledge with which to make better decisions within forest management. Although Ireland is small in forestry terms globally, TreeMetrics software, developed in conjunction with 4C, gives it an opportunity to sell into the major forestry markets around the world. On November 9th, Alan Holland won the Irish Software Association Student Medal 2007, given to the post graduate student who has "developed the most innovative and commercially viable software project". Alan, supervised for his Ph.D. by Dr. Barry O'Sullivan, received some of his student support from Enterprise Ireland and some from Science Foundation Ireland. He is now working with Dr. O'Sullivan on an Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund Technology Development Grant, RECAP, Robust & Expressive Combinatorial Auctions for Procurement. Part of this effort involves a project that was also shortlisted for the it@cork R&D Project Leaders Award (4C was involved in two of the four shortlisted projects). This project involves the supply of a combinatorial tender system for th e leasing, maintenance and repair of a new fleet of vehicles for Cork City Council. 4C hopes to save the council millions of euro in their procurement costs.

Call for proposals to host CP-2009

We invite proposals to host the 15th International Conference on the Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming (CP-2009). Proposals are due on or before February 29, 2008. These proposals will be evaluated by the Executive Committee of the Association for Constraint Programming and a decision made for the site shortly afterwards. The CP conferences are the premier international conferences on constraint programming. They have been held annually since 1995. CP 2008 will be held in Sydney (AUS). Previous CP conferences have been held in Providence RI (USA), Nantes (Frances), Sitges (Spain), Toronto (Canada), Kinsale (Ireland), Cornell (USA), Paphos (Cyprus), Singapore, Alexandria (USA), Pisa (Italy), Schloss Hagenberg (Austria), Cambridge (USA), and Cassis (France). For 2009, proposals from any venue will be considered. Proposals should be up to two pages of plain text and should address the following numbered topics:
  1. Proposal for conference chair(s).
  2. Local CP community support.
  3. University, government and industry support, especially financial.
  4. Proposed dates, and flexibility around these dates.
  5. Co-located events that might be held alongside CP.
  6. Conference and exhibition facilities (CP typically attracts between 200 and 250 delegates).
  7. Accommodation and food services.
  8. Site accessibility, attractiveness, and desirability.
  9. Previous experience in running conferences and workshops.
  10. Provisional budget.
If available, please include URLs to any additional information (e.g. web site for the conference venue or hotel). Guidelines for the CP conference organization, as well as the duties of the conference chair(s), can be found on the ACP web site. Proposals should be sent to the secretary of the Association for Constraint Programming committee preferably by email to Jimmy Lee, jlee[at]cse.cuhk.edu.hk. In preparing a proposal, please feel free to address questions (e.g. regarding the suitability of the proposed dates) to the same address. Call for proposals to host ICAPS 2010 Deadline : July 31, 2008

ICAPS

The ICAPS Executive Council is seeking proposals to host the 2010 International Conference on Automated Planning & Scheduling. ICAPS is the premier international conference focused on the field of automated planning and scheduling. ICAPS'08 will take place in September 2008 in Sydney, Australia. ICAPS'09 will take place in September 2009 in Thessaloniki, Greece Proposals to host ICAPS'10 should include:
  • Organizers and Organizational Structure The proposal should indicate proposed program chair(s) and any other proposed conference committee members (e.g., conference chair, local arrangements chair), and include a short CV of each.
  • Proposed conference dates and timetable Provisional time-table - should include submission-date; reviewing period; author notification date, for conferences, workshops, etc.
  • Venue Details of the venue and accommodations available to delegates including information about conference facilities, transportation access, accommodation and venue attractiveness. Include information on lower-priced housing options for students.
  • Previous experience of the local organization team in organizing similar events.
  • Format Information on the format of the conference (e.g. single track vs. multi-track, posters vs. presentations, etc.)
  • Special related events such as potential invited speakers, workshops, competitions, demonstrations, visits, etc.
  • Any planned collocation with other conferences. ICAPS was co-located with CP in 2007 and will be co-located with both CP and KR in 2008. Collocation is not a requirement for submitting a proposal.
  • An outline budget of the the event, including information regarding th e break-even point, registration fees and model (e.g., whether a single fee applies to all events, policy for joint registration with collocated conferences), policy and support for students and young researchers.
  • List of potential sponsors and support organizations.
  • Logistics If the conference is outside North America, include a brief description of the organization that will handle the logistics (managing registration, issuing badges, staffing registration desk, financial management, etc.) When ICAPS is in North America, ICAPS uses AAAI to provide conference and adminiatration support. AAAI may also be willing to provide conference support outside of North America and you can discuss this with AAAI directly.
A number of other items would be positively considered, however, each of these is only one of several factors that the executive council will consider in their decision.
  • Proposals that foster interaction and cross fertilization with related fields (such as collocation with related conferences).
  • Proposals that include means for encouraging and including members of the community in early phases of their careers are also welcomed (such as the doctoral consortium and/or summer school).
  • Proposals that include means for fostering new areas of work and growing potentially under-represented areas of work (such as the special tracks).
Proposers should note that:
  • funds are available carried over from previous conferences as seed money for future conferences. This money is required to guarantee the existence of the conference series and each organization applying to host ICAPS must show how they aim to cover all costs of the event.
  • ICAPS is an "AAAI affiliated conference": AAAI provides conference services when the conference is in North America; AAAI Press publishes the ICAPS Proceedings, including online version of the proceedings.
Proposals to host ICAPS should be sent electronically (PDF file) to: icaps-council@googlegroups.com Please submit proposals by July 31, 2008 Proposers are welcome to contact the Conference Liaison or other members of the ICAP Council for informal consultation, and/or to submit draft proposals before that deadline. Please get in touch with the Conference Liaison Officer, Shlomo Zilberstein for comments or advice on particular points, statistics on previous ICAPS conferences, past successful proposals (pending the agreement of their proposers). Clearly the closer to the deadline, the harder it will be to offer feedback. Information about previous and next conferences and guidelines about ICAPS is available here. Balenciaga