Table of Contents

Preface; Introduction; Constraint Networks; Consistency-Enforcing Algorithms: Constraint Propagation; Directional Consistency; General Search Strategies; General Search Strategies: Look-Back; Local Search Algorithms; Advanced Consistency Methods; Tree-Decomposition Methods; Hybrid of Search and Inference: Time-Space Trade-offs; Tractable Constraint Languages; Temporal Constraint Networks; Constraint Optimization; Probabilistic Networks; Constraint Logic Programming; Bibliography. Constraint satisfaction is a simple but powerful tool. Constraints identify the impossible and reduce the realm of possibilities to effectively focus on the possible, allowing for a natural declarative formulation of what must be satisfied, without expressing how. The field of constraint reasoning has matured over the last three decades with contributions from a diverse community of researchers in artificial intelligence, databases and programming languages, operations research, management science, and applied mathematics. Today, constraint problems are used to model cognitive tasks in vision, language comprehension, default reasoning, diagnosis, scheduling, temporal and spatial reasoning. In Constraint Processing, Rina Dechter, synthesizes these contributions, along with her own significant work, to provide the first comprehensive examination of the theory that underlies constraint processing algorithms. Throughout, she focuses on fundamental tools and principles, emphasizing the representation and analysis of algorithms. Examines the basic practical aspects of each topic and then tackles more advanced issues, including current research challenges Builds the reader's understanding with definitions, examples, theory, algorithms and complexity analysis Synthesizes three decades of researchers work on constraint processing in AI, databases and programming languages, operations research, management science, and applied mathematics.