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A Framework for Dynamic Constraint Reasoning using Procedural Constraints

Ari K. Jónsson, Jeremy D. Frank

Many complex real-world decision problems, such as planning, contain an underlying constraint reasoning problem. The feasibility of a solution candidate then depends on the consistency of the associated constraint problem instance. The underlying constraint problems are invariably dynamic, as higher level decisions result in variables and constraints being added and removed. There is also no limit on the types of constraints that may arise in the constraint network, as they depend on the domain to which the system is being applied. Additionally, real-world problems often have constraints over continuous variables. Such applications therefore present a number of significant challenges for a constraint reasoning mechanism. In this paper, we introduce a general framework for handling dynamic constraint networks with real-valued variables, by using procedures to represent and effectively reason about general constraints. This framework is based on a sound theoretical foundation. Additionally, the framework provides hybrid reasoning capabilities, as alternative solution methods like mathematical programming can be incorporated into the framework, in the form of procedures.

Keywords: Constraint Satisfaction, Planning

Citation: Ari K. Jónsson, Jeremy D. Frank: A Framework for Dynamic Constraint Reasoning using Procedural Constraints. In W.Horn (ed.): ECAI2000, Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IOS Press, Amsterdam, 2000, pp.93-97.

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ECAI-2000 is organised by the European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence (ECCAI) and hosted by the Humboldt University on behalf of Gesellschaft für Informatik.