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Portland Functional Programmers Study Group: Wm Leler's Bertrand constraint language

CubeSpace [ *sniff* out of business 12 June 2009]

This venue is no longer open for business.

622 SE Grand Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97214, USA (map)
Public WiFi



A study/user group exploring the world of functional programming based in Portland, Oregon. The group welcomes programmers interested in all functional languages, including Haskell, Erlang, OCaml, Scala, and others. The group meets regularly and provides presentations, demos and discussions applicable to all skill levels, from newbies and experts. The meetings are usually on the second Monday of the month.

This month, Wm Leler will talk about Constraint Satisfaction Systems and the Bertrand Programming Language. Wm is the creator of Bertrand and the author of the book "Constraint Programming Languages: Their Specification and Generation".

Constraint Satisfaction Systems were a hot topic of research in the 80's -- famous constraint systems include Ivan Sutherland's Sketchpad, Alan Borning's ThingLab (built on top of Smalltalk), Guy Steele's constraint language, and James Gosling's Magritte. These systems were used for computer graphics, design, and general numeric problem solving, but most of these solvers were domain specific and thus of limited usefulness.

Bertrand is an equational programming system whose purpose is to build constraint satisfaction systems using simple equational rules. Bertrand has an purely declarative semantics and an absurdly simple syntax, yet it is a powerful and expressive language, capable of solving problems in a large number of domains including graphics, word problems, electrical circuits, or -- with the right rules -- virtually any mostly-linear domain.

Since this is the Functional Programming Study Group, this talk will cover the underlying equational programming language of Bertrand and ways in which it could be extended to make it more powerful.