Cork Constraint Computation Centre, University College Cork
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Featured Research
" Computational Techniques for a Simple Theory of Conditional Preferences "
Nic Wilson
" Experimental studies of constraint weights obtained by random probing and other techniques "
R. J. Wallace

Overview of the Centre

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.

Constraints arise in design and configuration, planning and scheduling, diagnosis and testing, and in many other contexts. Constraint programming can solve problems in telecommunications, internet commerce, electronics, bioinformatics, transportation, network management, supply chain management, and many other fields.

The Cork Constraint Computation Centre (4C) was established at University College Cork with initial funding from Science Foundation Ireland in the form of a Principal Investigator Award to the Centre Director, Science Foundation Ireland Research Professor Eugene C. Freuder. 4C was formed when Professor Freuder moved his research lab from the University of New Hampshire in the U.S., in October of 2001, to merge with the UCC Department of Computer Science Constraint Processing Group, headed by Professor James Bowen.

Constraint programming already has wide commercial application, but much remains to be done to fully explore and exploit the technology. We apply advances in artificial intelligence and other disciplines to make constraint programming easier to use and more useful.

Some examples of constraints:
  • The meeting must start at 6:30.
  • The separation between the soldermasks and nets should be at least 0.15mm.
  • This model only comes in blue and green.
  • This cable will not handle that much traffic.
  • John prefers not to work on weekends.
  • The demand will probably be for more than 5 thousand units in August.
Some examples of constraint satisfaction or optimization problems:
  • Schedule these employees to cover all the shifts.
  • Optimize the productivity of this manufacturing process.
  • Configure this product to meet my needs.
  • Find any violations of these design criteria.
  • Optimize the use of this satellite camera.
  • Align these amino acid sequences.

UCC Computer Science Department  Science Foundation Ireland  University College Cork

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