CSCE990-06, Spring 2003: Advanced Constraint Processing
Course description: This course is a continuation of the course
on Foundations of Constraint Processing (CSCE 821). It is intended for
students with some sophistication and considerable interest in exploring
methods of designing and using algorithms useful for solving combinatorial
problems. The goal of the course will be to study, analyze and critique
basic and current research papers and to engage in Constraint Processing
projects and experiments either alone or in small groups.
Topics may include (and are not restricted to)
symmetry and interchangeability,
distributed constraint satisfaction,
constraints in relational databases,
spatial reasoning, etc.
Class participation is essential.
The content of this course is modified every time
it is offered.
Warning: The format of the course
is significantly more
like a research seminar than a regular class.
Be prepared for intensive work and mature interactions.
Monday, Wednesday, from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m.
CBA 104 (room changed on January 22, 2003)
Instructor: Prof. Berthe Y. Choueiry
Room 104, Ferguson Hall
Office hours: Monday, Wednesday 3:45--4:45 p.m.
or by appointment
Regularly check out the page of for reference to required and recommended
reading material, homework texts, and announcements.
Protocol of the course:
Study of selective chapters of the manuscript on Constraint Processing
by Rina Dechter.
Mainly discussions of technical papers, otherwise lectures by the instructor
and presentations by students.
Absence: maximum 3 sessions, advanced notice required.
Collaboration and discussion within and outside the classroom strongly
encouraged unless specified (e.g., for assignments, quizzes, or riddles').
How can I improve my grade?
Students will be able to `compose' their grade, for up to 80% of the
total grade, from the following menu:
Presentation of a research paper by a student: 20%. Grading policy
will be given by instructor.
Scribe of a discussion topic or a paper presentation or a critical
summary of a research paper: 5%. A student takes notes of an
entire discussion of a topic. One or more other students criticize the
notes of the scribe and rate the minutes (Excellent, Good, Satisfactory,
Project (programming): 30%
Term paper: 30%.
The remaining 20% are allocated as follows:
Surprise quizzes (mainly) and assignments (minimal): 10%.
Class interaction and participation in discussions are (subjectively) evaluated
for 10% of the total grade.
A bonus will be offered for a 100% attendance, starting second week of
Do the weekly and final glossaries: 5% (total). Students who return
every Monday, before class a glossary of terms listed in handouts will
a bonus. Rules for glossary:
Students will be have to build an incremental and alphabetically sorted
glossary of important terms.
Terms to be included are the ones listed in the handouts distributed in
class or sent my email.
A glossary entry can be filled with: (1) its definition in AIMA, (2) its
definition from another AI textbook or dictionary, or (3) the student own
All terms encountered during a week are due as a weekly glossary the following
At the end of the course, the full alphabetically sorted glossary is due.
(Hint: choose a text editor that can sort entries alphabetically.)
We will use selective chapters of the manuscript "Constraint Processing"
of Rina Dechter.
We will also heavily rely on technical papers from the literature. As the
need arises, copies will be made available by, or can be retrieved from,
Additional reference (available on reserve from LL): Foundations of Constraint
Satisfaction by Edward Tsang.
Main AI textbooks are available on reserve for CSCE 476/876
at the Love Library (but you are welcome to check them out):
Some research groups involved in Constraint Processing:
Archives and on-line systems:
Berthe Y. Choueiry