CSCE421/821, Fall 2005: Foundations of Constraint Processing

Annnouncement: we will try to have at least one researcher from the industry to talk about the market of this technology, techniques implemented in industrial products,  and commercial success stories. Check the list of previous visitors.

Prereq: CSCE310 (Data structures and algorithms) AND CSCE476/876 (Introduction to AI), or permission of instructor.

Course description: Constraint satisfaction has emerged as a powerful approach to articulate and solve many problems in computer science, engineering, and management.  It is now the basis for new programming languages and innovative commercial systems for production scheduling, product configuration, personnel planning and timetabling, etc.  The course will review the foundations of constraint satisfaction and the basic mechanisms for constraint propagation.  It will cover aspects of modeling and representation, and will examine islands of tractability and methods for theoretical and empirical evaluation of problem `difficulty.'  If time permits, we will examine new methods for decomposition and symmetry identification, designed to overcome the complexity barrier and to support interactions with users.

Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00 a.m.--12:15 p.m.
Location: AVH 111

Make-up Class/Recitation: Wednesday, 5:00 p.m.--6:00 p.m.
Location: AVH 111

Instructor: Berthe Y. Choueiry, AVH 123B,
                       email:, tel: (402)472-5444.
                       Office hours:  Tuesday & Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. (right after class).

Important note: No GTA is allocated to this class. All questions will have to be made to the instructor during office hours, make-up class, by email, or by appointment. We will follow a `peer-correction system' by which students grade each other's glossaries and homework under close monitoring by the instructor.

Class schedule: the page will be regularly updated. Check it out regularly for reference to required and recommended reading material, homework texts, and announcements.

Topics include but are not restricted to:


Protocol of the course:

Grading policy:

How can I imporve my grade?

Grade conversion:



[94, 97[


[90, 94[


[87, 90[


[84, 87[


[80, 84[


[75, 80[


[67, 75[


[60, 67[


[57, 60[


[54, 57[


[51, 53[




Reminder from the College of Arts & Sciences:  a C (2.0) is the minimum passing grade in a PASS/NO PASS course (NOT a C-) as well as the lowest grade one can receive and still count the class toward a major.

Books on reserve at the Math Library in Avery Hall:

Books and references available at the Love Library (LL):

Other references:

Industrial companies and start-ups: (listed in random order)


Research groups:

Archives and on-line systems:

Main publication venues:

Additional resources:

Berthe Y. Choueiry

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