Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: New Results

Stochastic continuous optimization backend for the constraint modelling language MiniZinc with applications to geometrical placement problems

Participants : François Fages, Thierry Martinez, Sylvain Soliman.

MiniZinc is a solver-independent constraint modeling language which is increasingly used in the constraint programming community. It can be used to compare different solvers which are currently based on either Constraint Programming, Boolean satisfiability, Mixed Integer Linear Programming, and recently Local Search. In [12], [13] we present a stochastic continuous optimization backend for MiniZinc models over real numbers. More specifically, we describe the translation of FlatZinc models into objective functions over the reals, and their use as fitness functions for the Covariance Matrix Adaptation Evolution Strategy (CMA-ES) solver. We illustrate this approach with the declarative modeling and solving of hard geometrical placement problems [16], motivated by packing applications in logistics [10] involving mixed square-curved shapes and complex shapes defined by Bézier curves.

Beyond these applications to packing problem, our real motivation for these developments is the solving of parameter search problems in computational systems biology and its implementation in BIOCHAM.