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Call for Participation

Answer Set Programming is a well-established paradigm of declarative programming with close relationship to other declarative modelling paradigms and languages such as SAT Modulo Theories, Constraint Handling Rules, FO(.), PDDL and many others.

Since the first informal editions (Dagstuhl 2002 and 2005), ASP systems compare themselves in the nowadays customary ASP Competition: the Third ASP Competition will take place at the University of Calabria (Italy) in the first half of 2011. The event is the sequel to the ASP Competitions Series, held at the University of Potsdam in Germany (2006-2007) and at the University of Leuven in Belgium in 2009. The current competition is held in cooperation with the 11th International Conference on Logic Programming and Nonmonotonic Reasoning (LPNMR 11) where the results will be published.

The event is open to ASP systems and any other system based on a declarative specification paradigm.

Participants will compete on a selected collection of benchmark problems, declarative specifications and instances thereof. Before the registration of competitor systems, there will be a problem selection stage, in which participants and interested researchers will be able to submit problem specifications; these will be then selected by the Organizing Committee, after an informal review and discussion stage.

The Competition will be constituted by two different sub-competitions, conceived for promoting some equivalently important, yet orthogonal, aspects:

  1. the Model & Solve Competition, held on an open problem encoding, open language basis, and open to any system based on a declarative specification paradigm, and

  2. the System Competition, held on the basis of fixed problem encodings, written in a standard ASP language.

In the former competition track, the team can choose the best system configuration along with the best encoding for each problem, while, in the latter, the system and its configuration is fixed for all problems.

Given that the interest towards parallel ASP systems is increasing, we encourage the submission of parallel systems as non-competing participants to both the competition tracks.

Model and Solve Competition

The Model & Solve Competition is conceived for

(1) fostering existing relationships with communities close to ASP; (2) encourage the development of new ASP constructs or newly devised declarative programming paradigms; (3) let the partipants compete in an open language, open problem specification regime.

In this track, the specification language and the problem encoding are open to the choice of participants. Specialized solutions are allowed: however any submitted solution must be based on a declarative specification system. Rankings on the Model and Solve competition should give a fair, objective measure of what one can expect when a system is adjusted with an encoding of choice and with an evaluation technique of choice for the problem at hand.

System Competition

The System Competition is conceived for (1) fostering the introduction of a standard language for ASP, and the birth of a new working group for defining an official standard; (2) let the competitors compare each other in fixed conditions.

In this track, problem encodings will be fixed for all participants: specialized solutions on a per-problem basis are not allowed. Problems will be specified in the two languages ASP-Core (for most problems) and ASP-RFC. Rankings on the System competition should give a fair, objective measure of what one can expect when switching from a system to another, while keeping all other conditions fixed (problem encoding and default solver settings).

Standard Languages

The major part of the problems will be encoded in ASP-Core, which collects basic ASP features common in current systems. A small portion of the problems will be encoded in ASP-RFC to encourage the standardization of other popular basic features, which differ in syntax and semantics between current systems.

ASP-Core is a conservative extension to the non-ground case of the SCore language adopted in the First ASP Competition; it complies with the core language draft specified at LPNMR 2004, and basically refers to the language specified in the seminal paper Gelfond&Lifschitz 1991; its constructs are nowadays common in current ASP parsers. ASP-Core includes: ground queries, disjunctive rules with negation as failure, strong negation and arithmetic builtins. Terms may be constants and variables only.

The ASP-RfC format comes in the form of a "Request for Comments" to the ASP community, and extends ASP-Core with non-ground queries, function symbols and a limited number of pre-defined aggregate functions. A limited number of problems specified in ASP-RfC will be selected for the System competition. We do expect the ASP-RfC format will foster discussion in the community and feed useful material to the foreseen forthcoming constitution of an ASP standard language working group.

We understand that the semantics of aggregate atoms is currently subject of debate in the community: for the sake of the Competition, ASP-RfC programs are restricted to programs containing non-recursive aggregates where there is a full semantic agreement. Other reasonable restrictions apply for ensuring that integers and function symbols are finitely handled. Usage of full disjunction is circumscribed only to a restricted portion of the selected benchmarks, and converters to equivalent, non disjunctive formats will be made available to competitors.


The competition will award a winner for the System Competition and a winner for the Model & Solve competition.

Further detail can be found following links in the Detailed Information section.

ASP Competition 2011: CallforParticipation (last edited 2010-11-30 15:41:29 by GiovambattistaIanni)