On Benchmarking Constraint Logic Programming Platforms. Response to Fernandez and Hill's “A Comparative Study of Eight Constraint Programming Languages over the Boolean and Finite Domains”
- 110 Downloads
The comparative study published in this journal by Fernandez and Hill benchmarked some constraint programming systems on a set of well-known puzzles. The current article examines the positive and negative aspects of this kind of benchmarking.
The article analyses some pitfalls in benchmarking, recalling previous published results from benchmarking different kinds of software, and explores some issues in comparative benchmarking of CLP systems.
A benchmarking exercise should cover a broad set of representative problems and a broad set of programming constructs. This can be achieved using two kinds of benchmarking: Applications Benchmarking and Unit Testing. The article reports the authors' experiences with these two kinds of benchmarking in the context of the CHIC2 Esprit project. The benchmarks were used to unit test different features of the CLP system ECLiPSe and to compare application development with different high-level constraint platforms.
The conclusion is that, in deciding which system to use on a new application, it is less useful to compare standard features of CLP systems, than to compare their relevant functionalities.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Bachelu, A., Baptiste, P., Varnier C., Boucher, E., & Legeard B. (1997). Multi-criteria comparison between algorithmic, constraint logic and specific constraint programming on a real scheduling problem. In Proc. Practical Application of Constraint Technology, pages 47–63.Google Scholar
- 2.BASF, CORE, Dash, Procter and Gamble, Lisbon University, Peugeot, Barbot, Loria, & COSYTEC. (2002). Large scale integrated supply chain optimisation software, www.dash.co.uk/liscosweb/.Google Scholar
- 3.Beck, J. C., Davenport, A. J., & Fox, M. S. Five pitfalls of empirical scheduling reasearch. In Proc. Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming CP97, pages 390–404, Springer.Google Scholar
- 4.Chic-2 home page, www.icparc.ic.ac.uk/chic2/, 1999.Google Scholar
- 5.Carlson, M., Ottosson, G., & Carlson, B. (1997). An open-ended finite domain constraint solver. In PLILP'97, Vol. 1292 of LNCs, pages 191–206.Google Scholar
- 6.Dash Optimization. (2001). XPRESS-MP, www.dash.co.uk/.Google Scholar
- 7.Diaz, D., & Codognet, P. (1993). A minimal extension of the wam for clp(FD). In Proc. 10th International Conference on Logic Programming, pages 774–790.Google Scholar
- 8.El Sakkout, H., & Wallace, M. (2000). Probe backtrack search for minimal pertubation in dynamic scheduling. Constraints, 5(4): 359–388.Google Scholar
- 9.Eremin, A., & Wallace, M. (2001). Hybrid benders decomposition algorithms in constraint logic programming. In Proc. CP'2001.Google Scholar
- 10.Fernández, A. (1997). Self-referential quizzes, URL: www.lcc.uma.es/~afdez/srq/index.html.Google Scholar
- 11.Fernández, A., & Hill, P. M. (2000). A comparative study of eight constraint programming languages over the Boolean and finite domains. Journal of Constraints, 5: 275–301.Google Scholar
- 12.Gray, J., ed. (1991). The Benchmark Handbook. Data Management Systems. Morgan Kaufmann.Google Scholar
- 13.Haygood, R. (1989). A prolog benchmark suite for aquarius. Technical Report CSD-89-809, University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
- 14.Henz, M. (1996). Don't be puzzled! In Proceedings of the Workshop on Constraint Programming Applications, in conjunction with the Second International Conference on principles and Practice of Constraint Programming (CP96), Cambridge, Massachussetts, USA (August).Google Scholar
- 15.Hajian, M., El-Sakkout, H., Wallace, M., Lever, J., & Richards, E. B. (1998). Towards a closer integration of finite domain propagation and simplex-based methods. Annals of Operations Research, 81: 421–431.Google Scholar
- 16.Hooker, J. N. (1996). Testing heuristics: We have it all wrong. Journal of Heuristics, 1: 33–42.Google Scholar
- 17.ILOG. (2001) CPLEX, www.ilog.com/products/cplex/.Google Scholar
- 18.Kernighan, B., & Van Wyk, C. (1998). Timing trials, or the trials of timing: Experiments with scripting and user-interface languages. Software Practise and Experience, 28(8): 819–843, cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/who/bwk/interps/pap.html.Google Scholar
- 19.McClain, D. (1999). A comparison of programming languages for scientific processing, URL: www. azstarnet.com/~dmcclain/LanguageStudy.html.Google Scholar
- 20.Mackworth, A. K., & Freuder, E. C. (1985). The complexity of some polynomial network consistency algorithms for constraint satisfaction problems. Artificial Intelligence, 25(1): 65–74.Google Scholar
- 21.Müller, T., and Würtz, J. Interfacing propagators with a concurrent constraint language. In PLILP'96, pages 195–206.Google Scholar
- 22.Nadel, B. (1989). Constraint satisfaction algorithms. Computational Intelligence, 5: 188–224.Google Scholar
- 23.Ovako, Air Liquide, IQSOFT, PrologIA, & SICS. (1998). Trial application using constraint programming in industrial manufacturing. ESPRIT Project No 23365, URL: www.sics.se/col/projects/tacit/description.html.Google Scholar
- 24.Pereira, F. (1987). AI expert prolog benchmarks, URL: www.icparc.ic.ac.uk/~mgw/aiexpertbench.txt.Google Scholar
- 25.Refalo, P. (1999). Tight cooperation and its application in piecewise linear optimization. In CP'99, Vol. 1913 of LNCS, pages 373–389.Google Scholar
- 26.Rodosek, R., & Wallace, M. G. (1998). A generic model and hybrid algorithm for hoist scheduling problems. In Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming, pages 385-399, Pisa.Google Scholar
- 27.Rodosek, R., Wallace, M., & Hajian, M. (1999). A new approach to integrating mixed integer programming with constraint logic programming. Annals of Operations Research, 86: 63–87.Google Scholar
- 28.Van Hentenryck, P. (1989). Constraint Satisfaction in Logic Programming. Logic Programming. MIT Press.Google Scholar
- 29.Waclena, K. (1997). My programming language crisis, URL: www.lib.uchicago.edu/keith/crisis/.Google Scholar
- 30.Williams, H. P. (1993). Model Building in Mathematical Programming. John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
- 31.Wallace, M., Novello, S., & Schimpf, J. (1997). Eclipse-a platform for constraint programming. ICL Systems Journal, 12(1): 159–200.Google Scholar
- 32.Wallace, M., & Schimpf, J. (2002). Finding the right hybrid algorithm-a combinatorial meta-problem. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence, Special issue on Large Scale Combinatorial Optimisation and Constraints, to appear.Google Scholar
- 33.Zhou, N.-F. (1998). A high-level intermediate language and the algorithms for compiling finite-domain constraints. In Proc. Joint International Conference on Logic Programming, pages 70–84. MIT Press.Google Scholar