vendredi 27 mai 2011

CP arrives in business schools!

One difficulty faced by the new CP users is that you need programming skills to use it because all solvers’ API can only be used from programming languages. This is probably the reason why in business schools, the simplex is used almost exclusively to illustrate optimization (you can solve linear problems in Excel!).

But this will change since AIMMS (with the help of Willem-Jan van Hoeve) has decided to add a CP modeling API as well (paper available here). I think the version is still beta and they are looking for people to test it on AIMMS' google group.

I believe it is very good to disseminate this great technology to make it available from high level modeling tools like AIMMS (only a few clicks and few numbers to encode and your CP model is ready). Now the professors in business schools have no excuse any more for not teaching CP ;-)

Actually this may only be the beginning of something: Robert Fourer (creator of the very popular AMPL) was there at the CPAIOR conference that just finished today. Maybe I speculate but we may see CP coming soon in AMPL as well. After all this plan of extension for AMPL for CP is there since a long time. Robert Fourer answered about this extension on AMPL mailing list last month "We have hopes that this long-delayed project will move forward in the next year or so."

As you see, only good news for CP because if AMPL and AIMMS offers CP, it will reach many people from the OR-INFORMS community.
The future will tell us if those dreams come true and CP will have the popularity it deserve… In the meanwhile we can only encourage AMPL team to build this CP extension.

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