The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The progressive party problem: integer linear programming and constraint programming compared

Smith, Barbara M., Brailsford, Sally C., Hubbard, Peter M. and Williams, H. Paul (1996) The progressive party problem: integer linear programming and constraint programming compared Constraints, 1, (1-2), pp. 119-136. (doi:10.1007/BF00143880).

Record type: Article


Many discrete optimization problems can be formulated as either integer linear programming problems or constraint satisfaction problems. Although ILP methods appear to be more powerful, sometimes constraint programming can solve these problems more quickly. This paper describes a problem in which the difference in performance between the two approaches was particularly marked, since a solution could not be found using ILP. The problem arose in the context of organizing a progressive party at a yachting rally. Some yachts were to be designated hosts; the crews of the remaining yachts would then visit the hosts for six successive half-hour periods. A guest crew could not revisit the same host, and two guest crews could not meet more than once. Additional constraints were imposed by the capacities of the host yachts and the crew sizes of the guests. Integer linear programming formulations which included all the constraints resulted in very large models, and despite trying several different strategies, all attempts to find a solution failed. Constraint programming was tried instead and solved the problem very quickly, with a little manual assistance. Reasons for the success of constraint programming in this problem are identified and discussed.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 1996
Keywords: combinatorial optimization, integer linear programming, constraint programming


Local EPrints ID: 35797
ISSN: 1383-7133
PURE UUID: 077ad44c-e80b-4132-b6d3-3d0516af7c00

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 Aug 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:46

Export record



Author: Barbara M. Smith
Author: Peter M. Hubbard
Author: H. Paul Williams

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.