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Second Generation Constraint Programming Technology

Global Constraints

This concept, initiated by COSYTEC, is characterized by

  • a high level of abstraction which allows the modeling of problems in a very concise yet natural and realistic way,
  • great improvement of performance (both time and space)

Consequently, several problem types, considered unsolvable so far can be handled now very efficiently. Furthermore, code size being very small, application support and enhancement is greatly simplified, leading to improvement of overall productivity in software development.

On the other hand, global constraints can also be considered as reusable software bricks, which can be combined to make modules specific to each problem. These bricks can be used to build very quickly applications in areas such as production scheduling, logistics or manpower planning.

The Global Constraint concept is now widely accepted worldwide.

Open Architecture

The headway gained by global constraints is made available in a unique kernel, as depicted by the caption CHIP V5 in the Figure 2. It contains a constraint modeling language, together with three solvers (i.e. rationals, finite-domains and global constraints). Three versions of CHIP are currently available:

  • CHIP++: supporting a high-level declarative programming language, integrated within a complete development environment, and thus allowing Rapid Application Development
  • CHIP-C: supporting C programming language, thus allowing the Constraint Programming technology to be used with existing code and practices (make, SCCS, etc.)
  • CHIP-C++: supporting C++ programming language, thus allowing construction of new reusable software modules in the object-oriented fashion

CHIP V5 is now available on UNIX, Linux and  Windows XP-2000 platforms.

Connection with XPRESS-MP

The leading edge XPRESS-MP Linear Programming engine from DashOptimization is fully integrated with CHIP V5.



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