The Computer-aided Constraint Programming (CACP) Project, 1997-2000

The constraint programming research community has accumulated a vast amount of experience in solving constraint satisfaction/optimisation problems. Unfortunately, applying constraint technology to a particular problem requires expertise in the technology, which many potential users do not have. The CACP project attempts to provide a system that encompasses the entire process of applying constraint technology. It supports the tasks of problem formulation and entry, in addition to supplying pre-written solvers and aiding the user in choosing which of the available algorithms to apply. Users may specify their problems using a declarative language. The problem specification is decoupled from the solvers, so the users may experiment with different problem formulations easily. Solvers supplied include a generalized Forward Checking solver, a Linear Programming solver and local search solvers implementing Guided Local Search, Tabu Search and Genetic Algorithms. A carefully designed interface is provided to guide users in understanding the technology.


More about this project can be found in the paper:
Bradwell, R., Ford, J., Mills, P., Tsang, E.P.K. & Williams, R., An overview of the CACP project: modelling and solving constraint satisfaction/optimisation problems with minimal expert intervention, Workshop on Analysis and Visualization of Constraint Programs and Solvers, Constraint Programming 2000, Singapore 22 September 2000.
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Details of the Easy Constraint language (EaCL) can be found in:
Mills, P., Tsang, E.P.K., Williams, R., Ford, J. & Borrett, J., EaCL 1.5: An Easy abstract Constraint optimisation Programming Language, Technical Report CSM-324, University of Essex, Colchester, UK, December, 1999
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Demos for the CACP Project

This project was funded by EPSRC, reference GR/L20122, from 1st March 1997 to 31st August 2000.

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