Configuration: Papers from the AAAI Fall Symposium
Boi Faltings and Eugene Freuder, Cochairs
Configuration involves selecting and arranging parts to fit problem constraints. Configuration problems may involve design, manufacturing, sales, installation and maintenance. The parts need not be physical, e.g. they may be actions in plans.
Configuration problems have a long history in AI going back at least to the pioneering R1/XCON expert system for configuring computer systems. Recently the area has been revitalized by:
- Renewed industrial interest: Ed Feigenbaum highlighted configuration in his "Tiger in a Cage" talk at AAAI-93.
- The rise of constraint satisfaction technology: Constraint programming languages are bringing this technology into the real world. Configuration is a natural constraint satisfaction problem.
- The success of the world wide web and other networked information services: These generate an increasing demand for automated configuration. Companies are seeing their offers/sales ratio increase dramatically to the point where manual configuration is no longer feasible.
At present academic attention in AI to this topic is lagging somewhat behind the industrial level of interest. We hope that this symposium will help to redress that balance. We aim to bring together academia and industry in this forum.