Volume 6, Number 3, October 2010

Constraint Programming News

volume 6, number 3, October 2010

Editors:
Jimmy Lee (events, career news)
Eric Monfroy (profiles, publications)
Toby Walsh (news, reports)

Contents

  • news: Association for Constraint Programming, various calls for awards, Constraints journal announcement, accepted papers
  • publications: software
  • special issues cfps: forthcoming special issues deadlines
  • events: forthcoming conferences and workshops
  • career news: jobs

News

REPORT FROM THE ASSOCIATION FOR CONSTRAINT PROGRAMMING

This is a short summary of activities within the ACP during the months
July-September 2010.

The 2010 ACP Executive Committee comprises the following people:

- Barry O'Sullivan - President
- Jimmy H.M. Lee - Secretary
- Thomas Schiex - Treasurer
- Pedro Meseguer - Conference Coordinator

- John Hooker
- Karen Petrie
- Peter Stuckey
- 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 Executive Committee Elections 2010

As set out in the ACP by-laws there was an election for four new EC members
in 2010. Pedro Meseguer, Karen Petrie, Thomas Schiex, and Roland Yap were
elected to terms ending in 2010. As set out in the bylaws an Election Committee
was formed chaired by Jimmy Lee, Secretary to the ACP. The others members
were: John Hooker, Barry O'Sullivan, and Peter Stuckey. The voting period was
from August 1st to 31st, 2010. A total of 128 votes were received. The newly
elected EC members are: Yves Deville, Thomas Schiex, Helmut Simonis, and
Roland Yap; their terms run for four years from Jnuary 2011. On behalf of
the ACP, the Executive Committee would like to congratulate those elected, and
thank all the other candidates who took part in the election.

ACP.2. Brief Comment on CP 2010

On behalf of the ACP, the Executive Committee would like to congratulate
the various people responsible for making CP 2010 in St. Andrews such a
success. Special thanks goes to Karen Petrie (Conference Chair), Dave Cohen
(Program Chair), Peter Stuckey (Applications Track Chair), Pedro Meseguer
(Workshop Chair), Thomas Schiex (Tutorial Chair), Peter Nightingale and
Standa Zivny (Doctoral Program Chairs), Ian Miguel (Sponsorship Chair),
and Andrea Rendl (Publicity Chair). We would also like to thank the Local
Organising Committee - full details can be found at:

http://cp2010.cs.st-andrews.ac.uk/organisation.php

ACP.3. ACP Distinguished Service 2010 -- Professor Francesca Rossi

The inaugural ACP Distinguished Service Award was made at CP 2010.
The award committee was chaired by the ACP President (Barry O'Sullivan). The
members were Dave Cohen, Ian Gent and Peter Stuckey, Program Chairs of CP
2008, 2009 and 2010, and the ACP Secretary (Jimmy Lee). The committee
recommended that this year's award go to Professor Francesca Rossi. Her
award citation reads: "For contributions to the field of constraint programming
through sustained service supporting the formation of the Association for
Constraint Programming and the promotion of the field." Francesca was nominated
by Christian Bessiere. On behalf of the ACP, the Executive Committee would
like to once again congratulate Francesca on her achievement.

ACP.4. ACP Doctoral Research Award 2010

This year's committee responsible for selecting the winning candidate for this
award was chaired by John Hooker. Members from the general community were
recruited to serve as reviewers and make recommendations on the overall winner.
The other members of this year's committee were Brahim Hnich and Mark Wallace.
The recipient of the award was Guido Tack for his doctoral dissertation
entitled "Constraint propagation: Models, techniques, implementation". Guido
was nominated by Christian Schulte. On behalf of the ACP, the Executive
Committee would like to once again congratulate Guido on his achievement.

ACP.5. ACP General Assembly 2010

During the CP 2010 conference, the annual ACP General Assembly took place.
It was chaired by the current ACP President, Barry O'Sullivan, and was
well attended by the community. The inaugural ACP Outstanding Service Award
was presented to Francesca Rossi.

ACP.6. CP Standardisation Working Group

During CP 2010 Dr. Jacob Feldman chaired an excellent session on the progress
of the CP Standardisation Working Group. On March 25, 2010 the Java Community
Process (JCP) published the "Early Draft Review of the JSR-331: Constraint
Programming API". Jacob reported that the JSR-331 was nominated for most
innovative JSR of the year for JCP Program Awards. Since the conference we
are proud to announce that JSR-331 has won the award for the most innovative
JSR of the year. On behalf of the ACP, the Executive Committee would like to
congratulate Jacob Feldman and Narendra Jussien for this achievement. Awards
like this give wonderful visibility to the CP community.

ACP.7. CP 2011 Conference

The CP 2011 conference will take place in Perugia, Italy. The Program Chair
will be Jimmy Lee. The Conference Chair will be Stefano Bistarelli. During
CP 2010 Stefano gave a presentation about the arrangements and venue for
the conference.

The conference web-site can be found at http://www.dmi.unipg.it/cp2011/

ACP.8. CP 2012 Conference

The CP 2012 conference will be held in Quebec City, Canada. The Conference
Chairs for the conference will be Gilles Pesant and Claude-Guy Quimper, with
an additional Local Chair in Louis Martin Rouseau. The Program Chair will be
announced in the new year.

ACP.9. Expressions of Interest in Hosting CP 2013

The ACP likes to plan CP conferences two years in advance. We are therefore
interested in hearing expressions of interest from those who are considering
hosting the conference in 2013. A formal call for proposals will be issued
early in the new year. In the meantime please consider discussing organising
the conference with the ACP Conference Coordinator, Pedro Meseguer.

ACP.10. Call for Proposals for New ACP Activities

During the ACP General Assembly the Treasurer, Thomas Schiex, reported
that the association is in good financial standing. It was also reported
that CP 2009 declared a surplus. Therefore, the ACP would like to receive
proposals for other activities that the association should support. Please
send your suggestions to secretary@a4cp.org

ACP.11. Call for Proposals to Host the ACP Summer School 2011

Members of the CP community who are interested in organizing the 2011
ACP Summer School should send a proposal to secretary@a4cp.org by
November 30th 2010, containing at least the following information:

  1. topic of the school
  2. location
  3. dates
  4. organizers
  5. provisional budget

Since its establishment, the summer school has been a major success with
feedback from student attendees being very positive.

CONSTRAINTS Journal Announcement

We are pleased to announce that Constraints now publishes specially
identified Survey papers, Application Papers and Letters. We welcome
submissions for these types of articles along with our regular
contributions and special issues.

We also welcome three new Editors who will be handling these manuscripts.

Surveys Editor, Thomas Schiex, INRA Toulouse, France Survey papers
provide a full-length, state-of-the-art review on a well-defined topic.
References to other media, such as stable web references, executable code
or sources, benchmarks, videos, and animations, are welcome. Proposals
for survey articles may cover theoretical or application-oriented topics
that have witnessed significant developments and have not been recently
surveyed.

Applications Editor, Helmut Simonis, Cork Constraint Computation Centre,
Ireland Application papers describe real-life applications of Constraint
Programming in areas such as industry, education, health, and government.
Papers discussing real-life oriented benchmark problems, especially
comparing constraint formulations with other solution techniques, will
also be considered. Submissions will be critically refereed considering
novelty, impact and awareness of related work.

Letters Editor, J. Christopher Beck, University of Toronto, Canada
Letters are welcome on any topic relevant to the journal scope which
present novel, high-quality research that has not appeared and is not
under review elsewhere, including in a conference. Letters provide a
forum for considering contributions, such as important technical results,
experimental results providing a relevant evaluation of a previously
proposed algorithm (by the author of the Letter or others), or
improvements and corrections of results already in the literature.

Full descriptions of these new article types, along with detailed
submission instructions can be found on the journal's home page:
www.springer.com/10601.

Authors should submit their manuscript through Editorial Manager (tm) at
http://CONS.edmgr.com, selecting "SURVEY PAPER" or "APPLICATIONS PAPER"
or "LETTER" as the article type.

Please help us to make these new submission types a success.

UCC Research Centre 4C Plays Leadership Role in Award-Winning JAVA Specification Request

The Java Specification Request JSR 331: Constraint Programming API, has
won the 2010 Java Community Process Award for Most Innovative JSR.

The Specification Lead of JSR 331, Jacob Feldman, and Expert Group member
Helmut Simonis are both on the staff of the Cork Constraint Computation
Centre (4C) at UCC.

The winners were announced on September 22 at a JCP community event held
during the JavaOne 2010 conference:

http://www.oracle.com/us/javaonedevelop/index.html.

Winners and nominees are included permanently in the JCP program's hall
of fame:

http://jcp.org/en/press/news/awards/awards_main

From www.java.com:

"To date, the Java platform has attracted more than 6.5 million software
developers. It's used in every major industry segment and has a presence
in a wide range of devices, computers, and networks.

Java technology's versatility, efficiency, platform portability, and
security make it the ideal technology for network computing. From laptops
to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones
to the Internet, Java is everywhere!

Java powers more than 4.5 billion devices including:

* 850+ million PCs
* 2.1 billion mobile phones and other handheld devices (source: Ovum)
* 3.5 billion smart cards
* Set-top boxes, printers, Web cams, games, car navigation systems,
lottery terminals, medical devices, parking payment stations, and
more."

From www.4c.ucc.ie:

"Difficult problems can offer too many choices, many of which are
incompatible, few of which are optimal. The Cork Constraint Computation
Centre develops the basic science that will make it easier for computers
to help us make these choices. We work with Irish and multinational
industry to put our technology to practical use."

- Call for Nominations for the IJCAI-11 Awards

Nominations are invited for the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award and
the IJCAI Award for Research Excellence which will be presented at
IJCAI-11 in Barcelona, Spain in July 2011.

See http://www.ijcai.org/awards for details about these awards,
including past winners.

Nominations for these awards are invited from everyone in the AI
community. A nomination package consists of a nomination form from one
nominator, and reference forms from between two and four references, as
follows:

Nominees: Nominees for the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award cannot be
older than 35 at the start of the IJCAI conference (and so must be born
on or after July 19, 1975 for IJCAI- 11). There are no restrictions on
who can be nominated for the IJCAI Award for Research Excellence.

Nominators: Nominators for each award can be anyone. Typically, the
nominator knows the nominee well, and locates the other individuals who
agree to serve as references, ensuring that they do their parts on time
to produce a convincing nomination package.

References: References for each award must have been at arm's length
from the nominee for the past 6 years. For the purposes relevant here,
being at "arm's length" means being at a different institution from the
nominee, not having supervised or been supervised by the nominee, and
not having done joint work with the nominee. Ideally, a reference is a
well- known member of the AI community who has never had a close
association with the nominee, but who can still vouch with authority for
him or her.

Nomination and reference forms can be downloaded from the addresses
below, and should be submitted by email to awards11@ijcai.org by October
15, 2010. Nominations submitted previously for the Research Excellence
award in 2007 and 2009 will be automatically considered again, though
the nominators are welcome to submit a revised nomination. Nominations
previously submitted for the Computers and Thought award will not
automatically be considered again.

IJCAI Computers and Thought Award Nomination form:
http://www.ijcai.org/awards/IJCAI-11_CT_Nomination.txt

Reference form: http://www.ijcai.org/awards/IJCAI-11_CT_Reference.txt

IJCAI Award for Research Excellence Nomination form:
http://www.ijcai.org/awards/IJCAI-11_RE_Nomination.txt

Reference form: http://www.ijcai.org/awards/IJCAI-11_RE_Reference.txt

Other supporting material (such as CVs, research papers, testimonials,
news articles) will naturally be used in the preparation of the
nomination and reference forms, but they should not be submitted.

To avoid duplication of effort, nominators are requested to send the
name of the person they are considering to nominate by email to
awards11@ijcai.org by September 25, 2010, so that people proposing to
nominate the same individual(s) may be so informed and coordinate their
efforts.

Suggestion to Nominators and References: The nomination and reference
forms collect some factual data, but mainly ask for a statement in 2000
words or less of why the nominee deserves the award. The Awards Committee
is looking for evidence that the nominee has generated some of the most
important and influential work in the field. Effective letters will
therefore emphasize what the nominee has done and why it matters, in a
way that is accessible to researchers from all areas of AI. This is
especially critical for the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award where the
nominee may not yet be known outside of a small area.

Important Dates for the IJCAI-11 Awards
September 25, 2010: Names of nominee due [email to awards11@ijcai.org]
October 15, 2010: Nomination and reference forms due [all forms emailed
to awards11@ijcai.org]
July 19, 2011: IJCAI-11 Computers and Thought Award Presentation
July 21, 2011: IJCAI-11 Award for Research Excellence Presentation
Enquiries concerning nominations should be directed to the IJCAI
Secretariat at s-t@ijcai.org or e-s@ijcai.org, or by phone at
+49-767-203-8221 or +43-6991-180-8202.

Call for Nominations "ICAPS Best Dissertation Award"

This award honors an outstanding Ph.D. dissertation in any area of
automated planning and scheduling. It will be given during the ICAPS
conference.

PhD dissertations that were completed and filed in 2009 or 2010 will be
considered for the ICAPS-11 Best Dissertation Award. The recipient will
receive a certificate and 500 USD.

The award committee is requesting nominations of candidate PhDs.

The nomination material should include the following:

  • a CV of the candidate with a complete list of publications,
  • a copy of the dissertation,
  • a nomination letter by the PhD advisor (this letter must specify the
    completion/filing date of the dissertation)
  • two additional recommendation letters or a copy of the request
    for such letters. If a request is submitted in lieu of the actual
    recommendation letter, that letter must be received by 31 January 2011.

Nominations should be submitted in electronic form (preferably as a
single PDF file or the URL of such a file) to the ICAPS Award Committee
chair: rpgoldman@sift.info

A word of caution: it is possible to postpone asking recommenders for
their letters until the very last minute (14 January), leaving them only
two weeks to get the letters in to the committee. This seems to us to be
a high-risk strategy. We urge nominators to request these letters as
soon as possible, since the recommenders may need to familiarize
themselves with the contents of the thesis. Nominators are responsible
for ensuring that the letters of recommendation are submitted by the
final deadline. The committee will not solicit missing letters, nor will
it review incomplete nomination packets.

The dissertation should preferably be written in English. However, we
accept dissertations not written in English if they are submitted
together with the following documents that must be written in English: an
extended abstract of the dissertation, a series of papers that cover the
key results of the dissertation and a document that describes the mapping
from the papers to the chapters of the dissertation. Students who did not
win an award last year can be nominated again if they are still eligible
this year.

More information on the ICAPS conference series can be found at the
following URL: www.icaps-conference.org.

Submission deadline: 14 January 2011

Call for Nominations "ICAPS Influential Paper Award"

This award honors the authors of a significant and influential paper in
any area of automated planning and scheduling. It will be given during
the ICAPS conference.

Papers that qualify for the award are those published in one of the ICAPS
family of conferences (ICAPS, ECP, EWSP, AIPS) at least 10 years before
the year of the current conference (i.e, up to 2001 for this year's
award).

The recipients of the 2011 award will receive a certificate and 500 USD.

The award committee is requesting nominations of candidate papers.

The nomination material should include:

  • the reference of the nominated paper,
  • the reasons in favor of the nomination,
  • either a URL from which the paper can be retrieved or a copy of the
    paper itself.

Please contact the committee if this last requirement
causes any difficulties.

Nominations should be submitted in electronic form to the ICAPS Award
Committee chair: rpgoldman@sift.info

Submission deadline: 31 December 2010

Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science

Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science (EPTCS) was
launched by Rob van Glabbeek in 2009, as an initiative to have
proceedings of all worthy workshops in Theoretical Computer Science
freely available on-line. The papers in the proceedings are simply
entries in the CoRR repository, http://arxiv.org/corr. DOI numbers are
assigned to EPTCS publications, and they are indexed in CrossRef and in
the Directory of Open Access Journals. There is no charge for authors or
workshops/conferences.

The idea caught on like wildfire, and since EPTCS was launched 30
proceedings were published, and 22 more have been accepted for
publication, see http://forthcoming.eptcs.org.

Perhaps one of the reasons is that the procedure for submitting a
proposal is very simple, see http://apply.eptcs.org/ and our response
time to a proposal is very fast, usually less than 10 days.
Additionally, thanks to efficient workflow, proceedings usually appear
within 10 days after all the constituents have been delivered.

We find that it is very important to properly record workshop proceedings
in one, easily searchable place. Also, we want to contribute in this way
to the growing acceptance of the view that all scientific publications
should be freely available on-line.

We hope that researchers working in Theoretical Computer Science will
follow the example of the many others in accord with the originators of
this idea. Please see http://published.eptcs.org/ for the list of
published workshops.

The editors,

Rob van Glabbeek (NICTA, Sydney, Australia) Editor in Chief
Luca Aceto (Reykjavik University)
Rajeev Alur (University of Pennsylvania)
Krzysztof R. Apt (CWI and University of Amsterdam)
Lars Arge (Aarhus University)
Ran Canetti (Tel Aviv University)
Luca Cardelli (Microsoft Research)
Rocco De Nicola (Universita di Firenze)
Jose Luiz Fiadeiro (University of Leicester)
Wan Fokkink (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Lane A. Hemaspaandra (University of Rochester)
Matthew Hennessy (Trinity College Dublin)
Bartek Klin (Warsaw University, University of Cambridge)
Evangelos Kranakis (Carleton University)
Shay Kutten (Technion)
Nancy Lynch (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Aart Middeldorp (University of Innsbruck)
Benjamin Pierce (University of Pennsylvania)
Gordon Plotkin (University of Edinburgh)
Vladimiro Sassone (University of Southampton)
Robert H. Sloan (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Wolfgang Thomas (RWTH Aachen University)
Irek Ulidowski (University of Leicester)
Dorothea Wagner (Universitaet Karlsruhe (TH))
Martin Wirsing (LMU Munich)
Moti Yung (Google Inc. and Columbia University)

MIPLIB Call for Contributions

Since its first release in 1992, the MIPLIB has become a standard test
set used to compare the performance of mixed integer linear optimization
software and to evaluate the computational performance of newly developed
algorithms and solution techniques.

Seven years have passed since the last update in 2003. Again, the
progress in state-of-the-art optimizers, and improvements in computing
machinery have made several instances too easy to be of further interest.
New challenges need to be considered!

Last year a group of interested parties including participants from ASU,
COIN, FICO, Gurobi, IBM, and MOSEK met at ZIB to discuss the guidelines
for the 2010 release of the MIPLIB. It will be the fifth edition of the
Mixed-Integer Programming LIBrary.

Therefore, we are looking for interesting and challenging (mixed-)integer
linear problems from all fields of Operations Research and Combinatorial
Optimization, ideally ones which have been built to model real life
problems. We would be very happy if you contributed to this library by
sending us hard and/or real life instances. By now, we are especially
interested in benchmarking instances, i.e., problems that take between 15
minutes and two hours to solve.

Find the submission webpage at http://miplib.zib.de/miplib2010

The submission deadline will be the 1st October 2010. We are looking
forward to your contributions.

CONSTRAINTS Journal Accepted Papers

Solving Subgraph Isomorphism Problems with Constraint Programming
StŽphane Zampelli, Yves Deville, Christine Solnon

Redundant Modeling in Permutation Weighted Constraint Satisfaction Problems
Yat Chiu Law, Jimmy H.M. Lee, May H.C. Woo

Constraint Propagation on Quadratic Constraints
Ferenc Domes, Arnold Neumaier

Tractable Cases of the Extended Global Cardinality Constraint
Marko Samer, Stefan Szeider

Classes of Submodular Constraints Expressible by Graph Cuts
Stanislav Zivny, Peter G. Jeavons

Efficient Algorithms for Singleton Arc Consistency
Christian Bessiere, Stephane Cardon, Romuald Debruyne,
Christophe Lecoutre

Dantzig-Wolfe Decomposition and Branch-and-Price Solving in G12
Jakob Puchinger, Peter J. Stuckey, Mark G. Wallace, Sebastian Brand

Formal Languages for Integer Programming Modeling of Shift
Scheduling Problems
Marie-Claude C™tŽ, Bernard Gendron, Claude-Guy Quimper,
Louis-Martin Rousseau

A Global Constraint for Total Weighted Completion Time for
Unary Resources
Andr‡s Kov‡cs, J. Christopher Beck

Publications

Parma Polyhedra Library 0.11

We are delighted to announce the availability of PPL 0.11, the latest
release of the Parma Polyhedra Library, a modern library for the
manipulation of convex polyhedra and other numerical abstractions
especially targeted at static analysis and verification of complex
software and hardware systems.

The new release, PPL 0.11, expands the usefulness of the library by
providing new features that should be of interest to people working in
the research fields mentioned above. In particular, the latest release
includes support for:

Parametric Integer Programming (PIP) Problem Solving
====================================================

The new class PIP_Problem provides a Parametric Integer Programming
problem solver (mainly based on P. Feautrier's specification). The
implementation combines a parametric dual simplex algorithm using exact
arithmetic with Gomory's cut generation. This is very useful in the
field of automatic parallelization using the polyhedral model.

"Deterministic" Timeouts Facilities
===================================

It is now possible to set computational bounds (on the library calls
taking exponential time) that do not depend on the actual elapsed time
and hence are independent from the actual computation environment (CPU,
operating system, etc.). This allows, very easily, to code deterministic
algorithms that do attempt to realize a "plan A" and revert to a "plan B"
only in case the original plan proves to be computationally too
expensive.

Automatic Termination Analysis
==============================

The PPL now supports termination analysis via the automatic synthesis of
linear ranking functions. Given a sound approximation of a loop, the PPL
provides methods to decide whether that approximation admits a linear
ranking function (possibly obtaining one as a witness for termination)
and to compute the space of all such functions. In addition, methods are
provided to obtain the space of all linear quasi-ranking functions, for
use in conditional termination analysis.

Approximating Machine Arithmetic
================================

The PPL now provides support for approximating computations involving
(bounded) machine integers. A general wrapping operator is provided that
is parametric with respect to the set of space dimensions (variables) to
be wrapped, the width, representation and overflow behavior of all these
variables. An optional constraint system can, when given, improve the
precision.

This release includes several other enhancements, speed improvements and
some bug fixes.

For more information, visit the PPL web site at

http://www.cs.unipr.it/ppl/

The PPL core development team:

Roberto Bagnara Patricia M. Hill Enea Zaffanella

Applied Formal Methods Laboratory
Department of Mathematics
University of Parma, Italy

JSR-331 "Constraint Programming API" Early Draft is available for public review

A new version 0.6.1 of the JSR-331 Specification "Constraint Programming
API" is available for public review. Please look at:
- specification document
- javadoc
- changes in v.0.6.1

The specification and its two initial implementations (with Choco and
Constrainer) are available for testing upon a request. Please read more
about CP Standardization at www.cpstandard.org and
www.cpstandard.wordpress.com. You may look at examples of CSPs presented
in the standardized Java interface and participate in the Discussion
Forum. Constructive comments and suggestions are very welcome. Please
direct you comments and requests to Jacob Feldman at j.feldman@4c.ucc.ie.

Special Issues CFPs

Special issue of the

JOURNAL OF SYMBOLIC COMPUTATION

on

INVARIANT GENERATION

and

ADVANCED TECHNIQUES FOR REASONING ABOUT LOOPS
--------------------------

IMPORTANT DATES

Paper submission: December 13, 2010
Notification of acceptance: March 14, 2011
Submission of the final accepted version: April 11, 2011
Publication: Mid of 2011

SCOPE
---------

The ability to extract and synthesize auxiliary properties
of programs has had a profound effect on program analysis,
testing and verification over the last several decades.
The field of invariant generation draws on a multitude
of techniques ranging from computer algebra, theorem proving,
constraint solving, abstract interpretation techniques and
model-checking.
Likewise, are the application areas diversified from
bootstrapping static program analysis tools, to test-case
generation and into aiding the quest for verified software.
Yet, invariant generation poses as many challenges as promises:
A key impediment for program verification is the overhead
associated with providing, debugging, and verifying auxiliary
invariant annotations. As the design and implementation of
reliable software remains an important issue, any progress
in this area will be of utmost importance for future
developments in verified software. In the context of static
analysis and test-case generation, suitable invariants have
the potential of enabling sophisticated automatic program
analysis and high-coverage test-case generation.

Several modern techniques for program termination and expected
program execution time also rely heavily on suitable invariants
(as relations) for the termination analysis.

Automated discovery of inductive assertions is therefore one
of the ultimate challenges for verification of safety and
security properties of programs.

This special issue is related to the topics of the workshop
WING 2010 (http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/events/wing2010/):
Workshop on Invariant Generation, which took place as a
sattelite event of FLoC 2010, in Edinburgh, July 21, 2010.
It will be published by Elsevier within the
Journal of Symbolic Computation.

Both participants of the WING 2010 workshop and other
authors are invited to submit contributions.

TOPICS
----------
This special issue focuses on advanced techniques for proving
properties of programs with loops or recursion.

Relevant topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

* Program analysis and verification
* Inductive Assertion Generation
* Inductive Proofs for Reasoning about Loops
* Applications to Assertion Generation using the following tools:
- Abstract Interpretation,
- Static Analysis,
- Model Checking,
- Theorem Proving,
- Algebraic Techniques,
- Interpolation
* Tools for inductive assertion generation and verification
* Alternative techniques for reasoning about loops

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
-------------------

This special issue welcomes original high-quality
contributions that have been neither published in nor
simultaneously submitted to any journals or refereed
conferences. Submissions will be peer-reviewed using
the standard refereeing procedure of the Journal of
Symbolic Computation.

Authors of papers presented at the WING 2010 workshop
are welcome and encouraged to submit extended and revised
versions of their papers. Furthermore, submissions of
papers that are in the scope of WING, but did not appear
in WING 2010 are welcome as well.

Submitted papers must be in English and include a well
written introduction addressing the following questions
in succinct and informal manner:
- What is the problem?
- Why is the problem important?
- What has been done so far on the problem?
- What is the main contribution of the paper on the problem?
- Is the contribution original? Explain why.
- Is the contribution non-trivial? Explain why.
All the main definitions, theorems and algorithms should
be illustrated by simple but meaningful examples.

SUBMISSION
--------------------

Please prepare your submission in LaTeX using the JSC
document format from: http://www4.ncsu.edu/~hong/jsc.htm.

Submission is via the EasyChair submission site at:
http://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=wingjsc2010

GUEST EDITORS
--------------------
Nikolaj Bjorner (Microsoft Research, US)
Laura Kovacs (Vienna University of Technology, Austria)

2011 IEEE Symposium on Computation Intelligence in Scheduling
April 11 - 15, 2011 Paris, France
http://www.ieee-ssci.org/2011/cisched-2011

The 2011 IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Scheduling
(CI-Sched 2011) invites research on all aspects of computational
intelligence applied to scheduling problems. Due to their huge search spaces
that have to be explored, scheduling problems cannot usually be solved by
exact approaches. Therefore, significant research attention has been
attracted on exploring techniques in Computational Intelligence (including
evolutionary computation, neural networks, swarm intelligence, fuzzy logic,
and their hybridizations, etc.). This symposium aims to explore recent
advances in this area.

Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Computational Intelligence in:
    • Production Scheduling
    • Personnel Scheduling
    • Sports Scheduling
    • Educational Timetabling
    • Commercial Scheduling packages
    • Transport Scheduling
    • Other scheduling problems
  • Complexity Issues in scheduling
  • Comparison of Techniques (e.g. compare Neural Networks with Fuzzy Logic;
    comparison of a meta-heuristic approach with a CI approach)
  • Interactive Scheduling using Computational Intelligence
  • Experiences of CI within Scheduling
  • Case Studies
  • Theoretical or empirical analysis of evolutionary algorithms and
    representations for scheduling

/*Symposium Co-Chairs*/

Rong Qu, University of Nottingham, UK
Ender Ozcan, University of Nottingham, UK
Michel Gendreau, cole Polytechnique de Montral, Canada

/*Important Dates*/

Paper Submission Due: October 31, 2010
Notification to Authors: December 15, 2010
Camera-Ready Papers Due: January 15, 2011

Events

SAT/SMT solver summer school

We are organizing a Boolean SAT/SMT solver summer school @ MIT in June, 2011.
The goal of the summer school is to connect SAT/SMT developers with new (and
current) power users. This will be very useful for graduate students, faculty
and industrial researchers who want to learn more about SAT/SMT solvers, and
are planning to use them in their research

An additional goal of the summer school is to connect theoreticians with
practitioners. It also intends to connect researchers in the Physics-inspired
approaches to SAT with the more mainstream DPLL-based solver researchers.

The website is:

http://people.csail.mit.edu/vganesh/summerschool

The Organizing Committee of SAT/SMT Summer School 2011,

Vijay Ganesh (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Daniel LeBerre (UniversitŽ d'Artois)
Cesare Tinelli (University of Iowa)
Armin Bierre (Johannes Kepler University)
Nikolaj Bjorner (Microsoft Research)
Armando Solar-Lezama (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Other Events

CSCLP 2010, Annual ERCIM Workshop on Constraint Solving and Constraint
Logic Programming, November 24-26, 2010, Berlin, Germany. Paper submission
deadline: October 17, 2010.
http://www.constraint-programming.de/csclp2010/

MIWAI'10, 4th Mahasarakham International Workshop on AI 2010, December
9-10, 2010, Mahasrakham, Thailand. Paper submission deadline: October 15,
2010. http://khamreang.msu.ac.th/miwai10/

ICAPS 2011, 21st International Conference on Automated Planning and
Scheduling, June 11-16, 2011, Freiburg, Germany. Workshop proposal
deadline: October 15, 2010. Tutorial proposal deadline: October 15, 2010.
Abstract submission deadline: November 19, 2010. Paper submission
deadline: November 26, 2010.
http://icaps11.icaps-conference.org/workshops.html

IEEE-ICTAI'10, 22th International IEEE Conference on Tools with Artificial
Intelligence, October 27-29, 2010, Arras, France.
http://www.cril.univ-artois.fr/ictai10/

META 2010, International Conference on Metaheuristics and Nature Inspired
Computing, October 28-30, 2010, Djerba, Tunisia.
http://www.lifl.fr/META10/

APLAS 2010, Eighth Asian Symposium on Programming Languages and Systems,
November 28-December 1, 2010, Shanghai, China.
http://basics.sjtu.edu.cn/conference/aplas2010/

PlanSIG 2010, 28th Workshop of the UK Planning and Scheduling Special
Interest Group, jointly with the 4th Italian Workshop on Planning and
Scheduling, December 1, 2010, Brescia, Italy.
http://pst.istc.cnr.it/PlanSIG10/

IJCAI 2011, 22nd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence,
July 19-22, 2011, Barcelona, Spain. Abstract submission deadline: January
19, 2011. Paper submission deadline: January 24, 2011.
http://www.ijcai-11.org/

DAMP 2011, Declarative Aspects of Multicore Programming, January 23, 2011,
Austin, Texas, USA. Paper submission deadline: October 11. 2010.
http://damp2011.cs.uchicago.edu/

CISched'2011, IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Scheduling,
April 11-15, 2011, Paris, France. Paper submission deadline: October 31,
2010. http://www.ieee-ssci.org/2011/cisched-2011

NFM 2011, Third NASA Formal Methods Symposium, April 18-20, 2011, Pasadena,
California, USA. Paper submission deadline: December 19, 2010.
http://lars-lab.jpl.nasa.gov/nfm2011

CPAIOR 2011, Eighth International Conference on Integration of Artificial
Intelligence and Operations Research Techniques in Constraint Programming,
May 23-27, 2011, Berlin, Germany. Abstract submission deadline: January 9,
2011. Paper submission deadline: January 16, 2011.
http://cpaior2011.zib.de/

SAT 2011, 14th International Conference on Theory and Applications of
Satisfiability Testing, June 19-22, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A. Workshop
proposal deadline: December 17, 2010. Abstract submission deadline:
February 11, 2011. Paper submission deadline: February 18, 2011.
http://www.lri.fr/SAT2011

MIC 2011, 9th Metaheuristics International Conference, July 25-28, 2011,
Udine, Italy. Paper submission deadline: March 6, 2011.
http://mic2011.diegm.uniud.it/

IFORS 2011, Industrial applications of scheduling and routing, within the
stream "Transportation" at the IFORS 2011, July 10-15, 2011, Melbourne,
Australia. Abstract submission deadline: January 31, 2011.
http://www.ifors2011.org/

AAAI 2011, Twenty-Fifth Conference on Artificial Intelligence, August 7-11,
2011, San Francisco, California, USA. Abstract submission deadline:
February 3, 2011. Paper submission deadline: February 8, 2011.

CP 2011, International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint
Programming, Perugia, Italy. http://www.dmi.unipg.it/cp2011/

SAC 2011, 26th ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, Track on Constraint
Solving and Programming, March 21-25, 2011, TaiChung, Taiwan.
http://www.sci.unich.it/~bista/organizing/constraint-sac2011/

ICTAI 2011, 23rd IEEE International Conference on Tools with Artificial
Intelligence, Boca Raton, USA.

ISSAC 2011, International Symposium on Symbolic and Algebraic
Computation, San Jose, California, June 8-11, 2011.
http://www.issac-conference.org/2011/

Career news

PhD position in Operational Research

Topic: Personnel Rostering and Manpower Planning

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel in cooperation with KaHo Sint-Lieven and
HUBrussel conducts research on Personnel Rostering and Manpower Planning
for which a four year PhD position is vacant.

The candidate should have a master degree and possess good mathematical
skills. Experience with programming is desirable.

Project description

State of the art approaches on quantitative personnel planning are
restricted to either manpower planning or personnel rostering, addressing
long term and short term objectives respectively. Some approaches combine
aspects of both domains by tackling manpower planning and personnel
rostering in a sequential way, resulting in suboptimal solutions at
(the)different decision levels. The decisions taken at the level of
manpower planning, restrict the possibilities at the rostering level.
Consequently, addressing poor quality rosters at a departmental level is
very hard.

The project aims at closing the gap by integrating complementary aspects
of personnel planning into one single decision model. Research goals
include: integrating the objectives of the different decision levels,
namely the aggregated organisational level and the level of the local
departments, taking into account the corresponding time horizons of both;
introducing a quality vector capable of considering both manpower
planning and rostering aspects; developing an algorithm for generating
high quality personnel strategies.

An optimal strategy results in a personnel structure that allows for good
quality rosters in each department while at the same time, being
desirable with respect to manpower planning.

For more information
M.A. Guerry G. Vanden Berghe T. De Feyter
Vrije Universiteit Brussel KaHo Sint-Lieven HUBrussel
Brussel Gent Brussel
Tel. +32 2 629 2049 Tel. +32 9 265 8703 Tel. +32 2 609 82
74
maguerry@vub.ac.be greetvb@kahosl.be
tim.defeyter@hubrussel.be

A cover letter and CV should be sent to maguerry@vub.ac.be before 30 th
October 2010.

2011 Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship Nominations

Microsoft Research is inviting nominations for its Faculty Fellowship
program, starting on 20 September. This program recognizes and supports
exceptional early-career faculty engaged in innovative computing
research. The objective is to stimulate and support the research of
promising individuals who have the potential to make a profound impact
on the state-of-the-art in their research disciplines and to become
future thought leaders. Each fellowship award includes a cash gift.

The winners of the 2011 faculty fellowship awards will be announced at
the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit in July. No more than one
nomination from each institution will be accepted. The potential
Fellows for the Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship program must be
nominated by their research institution, and their nominations must be
confirmed by a letter from the head of the institution (e.g., office of
the Dean, Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellor, President, and so on). Direct
applications from new faculty members are not accepted.

Nominations open: September 20, 2010.

Nominations and application deadline: OCTOBER 19, 2010.

For eligibility criteria, please visit
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/collaboration/awards/msrff.aspx for
eligibility criteria and instructions.

Ausschreibung in Englisch

At the Faculty of Computer Science, Institute of Artificial
Intelligence, the position

Chair (W2) of Computational Logic is to be filled at the earliest
possible date. The successful candidate is required to represent the
area mentioned above in research and teaching. The task in teaching
consists of lectures (in English) in Computational Logic in the
international master program in Computational Logic, lectures (in
German) in Computer Science in the other programs of the faculty or
for other faculties as well as the supervision of bachelor-, master-
and PhD-students. In research, applicants are expected to have made
novel contributions to the logical foundations of declarative
programming, semantic technologies, constraint and satisfiability
problems, verification, intelligent autonomous agents, cognitive
systems, the integration of virtual and physical systems, machine
learning or natural language processing, their implementation in
running systems as well as their application. International
publications and contacts as well as the participation in research
projects in one or several of the above-mentioned subareas are
expected.

The applicants must fulfill the employment qualification requirements
of the Higher Education Act of Saxony (namely of ¤ 58
SŠchsHSG). Applications from women are particularly welcome. The same
applies to disabled people. (For information please phone +49 351 463
38340.)

Please send your application until October 15, 2010 (stamped arrival
date of the university central mail service applies) to: TU Dresden,
Dekan der FakultŠt Informatik, Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Andreas Pfitzmann,
01062 Dresden, Germany. Your application should contain the usual
documents (CV, transcripts and certificates, lists of scientific
publications, teaching activities and projects funded by third
parties, teaching evaluation reports).

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