Editorial, September 2011

Dear LPers,

summer has gone and with them most of our meetings. Most of us are now back on our regular routine of teaching and preparing new research papers for the upcoming round of conferences.

As some of you may have noticed – there have been important changes to the official site of the Association for Logic Programming. For many years, the official web site had been maintained by the great team at Leuven, separately from the site used for the Newsletter (which has been hosted by New Mexico State).

During the 2011 Executive Committee meeting,  in Lexington, the decision was made to combine the ALP website, the TPLP operative website, and the newsletter website. You can see the results of this effort on your monitor. In the transfer phase, we realized that some info were obsolete, missing, or lacking. We have tried to fix these problems as much as possible, also with the help of Gopal Gupta, Davis S. Warren, and Gianfranco Rossi (and some web search engines) that we would like to thank. This is very much work in progress, and we will continue to update the new site over the coming months. Please send us any comment/remark, in particular on the historical info. The ALPEC is currently checking the “by laws” part, while the complete TPLP porting will end within a couple of weeks.

At the end of the summer, we received the sad news of the passing of an long time member and friend of ALP – Will Winsborough. Many of us have met Will – an outstanding researcher that has contributed to LP from the beginnings of our community. I (Enrico) remember meeting Will for the first time in 1994, at ILPS in Ithaca -I was just a young researcher at that time, and Will took the time to provide me advice over a long lunch and over the following months – and his advices (and letters of recommendation) were instrumental in my first major research grant. Two of Will’s long time friends, Sandro Etalle and Moreno Falaschi, have kindly accepted to provide a few thoughts about Will, that you can can find in this issue of the Newsletter.  If you have a story, thought, memory about Will, please share it with us (by posting a follow-up to Moreno’s and Sandro’s note).

Several excellent meetings took place over the summer – we had a great ICLP in Lexington, and a large contingent of logic programmers participated in the 2011 IJCAI conference. Some of their organizers sent us brief reports about these events, that you can find in this issue of the newsletter. In particular, you will be able to find reports about the Italian Conference on Computational Logic (CILC’11), the oustanding tutorial on ASP presented at IJCAI 2011, a report on the 7th ICLP Doctoral Consortium, reports from ASPOCP’11 and WCB’11, and an overview of the 18th Prolog programming contest. If you have organized a meeting and you have not sent us a brief report yet, please share with us and the wide ALP community information about your workshop/conference. It would be a great service for the community.

As regular papers, we have two papers communicated by the verification area editors Michael Leuschel and John Gallagher. The first, paper, by Hager and Bolz,  is about a light prolog implementation based on RPython, in the second,  Fioravanti, Pettorossi, Proietti and Senni show us how using a specialization of CLP programs for reachability analysis in reactive systems, and another regular paper communicated by the KR & NMR area editors Marcello Balduccini and Tran Cao Son, on Finding Answers and Generating Explanations for Complex Biomedical Queries using Answer Set Programming, written by Esra Erdem.

Before closing this editorial, we would like to extend an invitation to all members of the ALP community to help us in revitalizing our Doctoral Dissertation column (which has been dormant for too long). If you have just completed your doctoral studies, please send us a brief abstract of your dissertation. If you have a student that is about to graduate or has just graduated, please connect us with her/him. Help us spreading the word about the fantastic research that our young researchers are conducting.

As usual, please do not hesitate to send us your comments, suggestions, criticisms.

Agostino & Enrico