» ASP Competition

The Second Answer Set Programming Competition

The Second ASP Competition will take place at the University of Leuven in Belgium in the first half of 2009. It will be run on a pool of Linux machines of the DTAI-research group of the K.U.Leuven. It is a sequel to the First Answer Set System Competition, held at the Universität Potsdam in Germany in 2006-2007 in conjunction with LPNMR’07. The current competition is held in conjunction with the Tenth International Conference on Logic Programming and Nonmonotonic Reasoning (LPNMR'09) where the results will be published.

In many real-life problems, we search for objects of complex nature - plans, schedules, assignments. Different scientific areas are concerned with the development of systems that compute such objects from specifications. Thus, languages are needed to describe such objects called "answer sets", "valuations", "structures", "models", depending on the area, and algorithms to extract them from these descriptions.
Answer Set Programming (ASP), Propositional Satisfiability (SAT) and Constraint Programming (CP) are arguably the three most prominent areas that develop such languages and techniques.

An open "Model and Solve" competition

The competition will be organized in a spirit of integration and is open for all types of solvers: ASP-systems, SAT-solvers, SMT-solvers, CP-systems or others. Just like its predecessor, this competition aims at similar goals as the competitions conducted for many years in the area of Satisfiability Checking with the related contests in Quantified Boolean Formulas, Pseudo-Boolean Constraints, etc. In contrast to the first ASP competition, it will be a "Model and Solve" competition, where a number of well-specified benchmarks have to be modeled and solved with a system. This formula offers the best opportunities for each community to show the strength of its applications and solvers and to challenge the other communities. Another difference with its predecessor is that both satisfiability problems and optimization problems will be considered in this contest. For more details see "Format of the Competition".

Policy against special purpose solutions

The purpose of the competition is to be as informative as possible about strengths and weaknesses of declarative systems. Submission of special purpose programs for solving certain benchmark problems falsifies the information that we get from the rankings and goes against the spirit of the competition. Moreover, since the report of the competition, which will be published at LPNMR, will attribute the scores of a team to its used declarative system, the use of special purpose programs for certain benchmarks can rightfully be considered as scientific fraud.

We appeal to participants to be fair to the spirit of the competition and not to submit special purpose solutions (so that we can evaluate their solvers, not their C++ programming skills). The organizers retain the right to inspect submissions and exclude certain benchmark solutions. If entrants do not agree, they may search for appeal with the Program Committee.

Policy of openness of benchmark solutions

Finally, to hold the competition in a spirit of openness, we suggest that participants make their solutions accessible, e.g., by publishing them on a webpage OR making the directories on the competition machines readable for other participants.