Mission: The Association for Logic Programming (ALP) was founded in 1986, with the mission to contribute to the development of Logic Programming, relate it to other formal and also to humanistic sciences, and to promote its uses in academia and industry all over the world.
Background: Logic Programming was born circa 1972, presaged by related work by Ted Elcock, Cordell Green, Pat Hayes and Carl Hewitt on applying theorem proving to problem solving and to question-answering systems. It blossomed from Alan Robinson's seminal contribution, the Resolution Principle, all the way into a practical programming language with automated deduction at its core, through the vision and efforts of Alain Colmerauer and Bob Kowalski. Their work was followed up by the Pioneers of the field and many others, until it took strong hold in the academic community and became the basis of important scientific projects such as Fifth Generation Computing.
Vision: Logic Programming has matured considerably since its inception, to the point that some of its branches (e.g. Constraint Logic Programming, Natural Language Processing, Inductive Logic Programming, Abductive Logic Programming, Tabling, Constraint Handling Rules) have grown into independent areas with their own venues, while cross-fertilizations with other areas have resulted in independent LP areas as well (e.g. LP and Non Monotonic Reasoning). Meanwhile, the world is becoming more comfortable with higher level programming as a basis for trustworthy software. It is now time to focus on three main challenges, which we exhort our members to pursue:
Consolidation, Integration and Outreach: The different LP areas are now ready to cross-fertilize from their more mature perspective, not only with each other, but also with other sciences, and integrated as well with other promising developments, such as Semantic Webs. The needs of the explosively growing internet are a great opportunity for our community to make a dent, through true intelligent retrieval, intelligent agents, concept classification of documents, etc.
A return to higher level programming: The dust is now settling down around our experiments on efficiency, and control concerns become less prevalent. We now have more sophisticated tools with which to pursue our initial ideals of higher-level specifications and of high-level formulations of effective problem-solving procedures. The user of the future will have gained independence not only from thinking in terms of bits, bytes, pointers and arrays, but also from having to type too detailed code into a computer. Ultimately we should be able to program some of our applications through speech, by simply describing a problem domain in human language, or at least through much higher-level specifications for our intelligent agents.
Robustness: It is important to be able to provide reliable support for some robust LP system, or systems that are fairly uniform in syntax, etc., and that have good, continuous maintenance around the world, guaranteed by us as a community, rather than depending on companies that grow and dismantle, or on the professional life spans of individuals. Eventually this might allow us to take the lead in making LP the main computer language tool out in the "real" world. This will take some doing, but the pieces are laid out. Robust availability is a must.
Journals: Theory and Practice of Logic Programming is the sole official journal of the ALP.
Meetings: The ALP sponsors workshops, supports other meetings related to logic programming, and provides limited support for attendance at its sponsored conferences and workshops by participants in financial need. It has sponsored International Conferences and Symposia in Logic Programming in Melbourne (ICLP '87), Seattle (JICSLP '88), Lisbon (ICLP '89), Cleveland (NACLP '89), Jerusalem (ICLP '90), Austin (NACLP '90), Paris (ILCP '91), San Diego (ILPS '91), Washington D.C. (JICSLP '92), Budapest (ILCP '93), Vancouver (ILPS '93), Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy (ICLP '94), Ithaca, USA (ILPS '94), Kanagawa, Japan (ICLP '95), Portland (ILPS ' 95), Bad Honnef, Germany (JICSLP '96), Leuven (ICLP '97), Port Jefferson, USA, (ILPS '97), Manchester (JICSLP '98), and Las Cruces (ICLP '99). In 2000 the ICLP conference was integrated into the Computational Logic conference (CL 2000) that took place in London, UK, and then moved to a collocation model. In 2001 it collocated with Constraint Programming (CP'02) in Cyprus. ICLP03 will take place in Mumbai (Bombay) India. As well, collocation efforts are reflected in other ALP supported events, such as PADL.
Initiatives: ALP has been trying to strengthen links with other academic communities, partly through conference integration and collocations, partly through supporting initiatives such as the local LP organizations, related conferences such as PADL which invites papers on practical applications of logic, constraint, functional, and concurrent programming; organizations such as Compulog Net and Compulog Americas, their successor organization CologNet, the Summer School of Computational Logic, now a regular event, etc. A standardization initiative was undertaken in 2002 by Jan Wielemaker, Manuel Hermenegildo and Bart Demoen.
ALP Sponsored Awards: ICLP instituted two new awards in 2002:
In 2003, a Best Student Paper Award will be instituted as well, all three awards with a monetary value subject to ALP funds and to funds obtained from industrial sponsors.
The Best Technical Paper Award at ICLP04 (St. Malo) went to Tom Schrijvers and David S. Warren for the paper "Constraint Handling Rules and Tabled Execution"
In 2005 (Sitges) the Best Paper Award went to Jose F. Morales, Manuel Carro, German Puebla, and Manuel V. Hermenegildo for the paper "A generator of Efficient Abstract machine Implementations and its Application to Emulator Minimization", while the best student paper award was assigned to Ajay Mallya for the paper "Deductive Multi-valued Model Checking".
The Best Paper Award at ICLP06 (Seattle) went to Martin Gebser and
Torsten Schaub for the paper "Tableau Calculi for Answer Set
The Best Student Paper Award at ICLP06 (Seattle) went to Luciano Caroprese, Sergio Greco, Cristina Sirangelo and Ester Zumpano for the paper "Declarative Semantics of Production Rules for Integrity Maintenance".
ICLP07 assigned the best paper award to SAbrina baselice, Piero Bonatti, and Giovanni Criscuolo for the paper "On finitely recursive programs" while Matti Jarvisalo and Emilia Oikarinen won the best student paper award for their paper "Extended ASP Tableaux and Rule Redundancy in Normal Logic Programs".
ICLP08 assigned the best paper award to Michael Fink for his paper "Equivalences in Answer Set Programming by Countermodels in the Logic of Here-and-there", while the best student paper went to Shay B. Cohen, Robert J. Simmons, and Noah A. Smith for their paper "Dynamic Programming Algorithms as Product of Weighted Logic Programs". In that rainy meeting it was also instituted the best presentation prize (voted by participants) that went to Vitor Santos Costa.
ICLP09 best paper award went to Henning Christiansen and John Gallagher for their paper "Non-discriminating arguments and their uses" while the best student paper went to Matthias Broecheler and Gerardo Simari for the paper "Using histograms to better answer queries to probabilistic logic programs".
ICLP10 best paper award went to Alessandro Dal Palu, Agostino Dovier, Federico Fogolari, and Enrico Pontelli for their paper "CLP-based protein fragment assembly" while the best student paper went to Christian Drescher for the paper "A Translational Approach to Constraint Answer Set Solving" cowritten with Toby Walsh.
Voting Members are those who attended one LP conference in the last five years, or paid membership fees at a local Logic Programming Association, such as GULP or AFPC.
Benefits of ALP membership include: