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Building models through formal specification.

Renker, Gerrit; Ahriz, Hatem


Gerrit Renker

Hatem Ahriz


Jean-Charles Régin

Michel Rueher


Over the past years, a number of increasingly expressive languages for modelling constraint and optimisation problems have evolved. In developing a strategy to ease the complexity of building models for constraint and optimisation problems, we have asked ourselves whether, for modelling purposes, it is really necessary to introduce more new languages and notations. We have analyzed several emerging languages and formal notations and found (to our surprise) that the already existing Z notation, although not previously used in this context, proves to a high degree expressive, adaptable, and useful for the construction of problem models. To substantiate these claims, we have both compiled a large number of constraint and optimisation problems as formal Z specifications and translated models from a variety of constraint languages into Z. The results are available as an online library of model specifications, which we make openly available to the modelling community.

Start Date Apr 20, 2004
Publication Date Dec 31, 2004
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Pages 395-401
Series Title Lecture notes in computer science
Series Number 3011
ISBN 354021836X
Institution Citation RENKER, G. and AHRIZ, H. 2004. Building models through formal specification. In RĂ©gin, J.-C. and Rueher, M. (eds.) Integration of AI and OR techniques in constraint programming for combinatorial optimization problems: proceedings of the 1st International conference on integration of artificial intelligence and operations research techniques in constraint programming (CPAIOR 2004), 20-22 April 2004, Nice, France. Lecture notes in computer science, 3011. Berlin: Springer [online], pages 395-401. Available from:
Keywords Constraint and optimisation problems; Modelling; Z notation


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