Constraint Programming in Several Domains

Robert Rendell
Department of Computer Science, Monash University, Clayton 3168, Australia.


Expressing problems in the form of a set of constraints, that is, a set of relationships between variables and values, is a natural way for humans to express many problems to which they desire solutions. Considerable research effort has therefore been put into computerised constraint solving.

This paper describes a system utilising a novel approach to solving constraints. A manager administers the exchange of information with specialised solvers, each of which has a different domain of expertise. The manager, while not actually knowing anything about the domains beyond the syntaxes submitted by the solvers, coordinates the computation and draws the results together in an attempt to solve the constraints presented to it.

The system executes more slowly than systems based on more traditional approaches, but has definite advantages in terms of flexibility and extensibility.

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