There was an article in Artificial Intelligence called “Constraint Propagation”, which is, IMHO, the most useful form of constraint solver. I don’t remember the month or year of that issue. Does anyone else remember that?
If you google “constraint propagation algorithm”, there are several pages of tutorial and scholarly links that sound worth pursuing if you are just learning about the topic. I find constraint propagation intensely useful in solving day-to-day problems; it’s a way of thinking that helps order your thoughts. It also expresses your solutions to problems much more elegantly, and therefore more understandably.
But note that a constraint solver need not be “iterative” in the sense of improving estimates step-by-step till they converge. Constraints can be expressed in simple Boolean logic, or in full blown first order logic. It’s the way you trade off one constraint for another that improves the global system of constraints, but there is often a true minimal cost or maximal gain solution to systems of constraints. It is well worth reading about.
Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
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From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Simon Spero
Sent: Friday, October 10, 2014 9:41 AM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Constraint Solving versus Inferencing
See eg http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constraint_logic_programming