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Disjunctive Programming and Cooperating Solvers

Ken McAloon
Carol Tretkoff
Gerhard Wetzel

Logic Based Systems Lab
Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center
Brooklyn, NY 11210

There are two fundamental themes in constraint programming. One is discrete of finite domain constraint programming based on the constraint satisfaction model. The other is continuous constraint programming based on linear programming and its extensions. In this paper we propose techniques for making constraint solvers cooperate, and we present a scheduling application of the Dutch Railways and a new kind of algorithm for solving disjunctive programming problems, one which could not be developed without c ooperating solvers. What emerges is that cooperating solvers, which have old roots in special purpose operations research methods, constitute a central technology with wide applicability.

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