ALP: Mission and Vision


Mission: The Association for Logic Programming (ALP) was founded in 1986, with the mission to contribute to the development of Logic Programming, relate it to other formal and also to humanistic sciences, and to promote its uses in academia and industry all over the world.

Background: Logic Programming was born circa 1972, presaged by related work by Ted Elcock, Cordell Green, Pat Hayes and Carl Hewitt on applying theorem proving to problem solving and to question-answering systems. It blossomed from Alan Robinson’s seminal contribution, the Resolution Principle, all the way into a practical programming language with automated deduction at its core, through the vision and efforts of Alain Colmerauer and Bob Kowalski. Their work was followed up by the Pioneers of the field and many others, until it took strong hold in the academic community and became the basis of important scientific projects such as Fifth Generation Computing.

Vision: Logic Programming has matured considerably since its inception, to the point that some of its branches (e.g. Constraint Logic Programming, Natural Language Processing, Inductive Logic Programming, Abductive Logic Programming, Tabling, Constraint Handling Rules) have grown into independent areas with their own venues, while cross-fertilizations with other areas have resulted in independent LP areas as well (e.g. LP and Non Monotonic Reasoning). Meanwhile, the world is becoming more comfortable with higher level programming as a basis for trustworthy software. It is now time to focus on three main challenges, which we exhort our members to pursue:

Consolidation, Integration and Outreach: The different LP areas are now ready to cross-fertilize from their more mature perspective, not only with each other, but also with other sciences, and integrated as well with other promising developments, such as Semantic Webs. The needs of the explosively growing internet are a great opportunity for our community to make a dent, through true intelligent retrieval, intelligent agents, concept classification of documents, etc.

A return to higher level programming: The dust is now settling down around our experiments on efficiency, and control concerns become less prevalent. We now have more sophisticated tools with which to pursue our initial ideals of higher-level specifications and of high-level formulations of effective problem-solving procedures. The user of the future will have gained independence not only from thinking in terms of bits, bytes, pointers and arrays, but also from having to type too detailed code into a computer. Ultimately we should be able to program some of our applications through speech, by simply describing a problem domain in human language, or at least through much higher-level specifications for our intelligent agents.

Robustness: It is important to be able to provide reliable support for some robust LP system, or systems that are fairly uniform in syntax, etc., and that have good, continuous maintenance around the world, guaranteed by us as a community, rather than depending on companies that grow and dismantle, or on the professional life spans of individuals. Eventually this might allow us to take the lead in making LP the main computer language tool out in the “real” world. This will take some doing, but the pieces are laid out. Robust availability is a must.

Journals: Theory and Practice of Logic Programming is the sole official journal of the ALP.

Meetings: The ALP sponsors workshops, supports other meetings related to logic programming, and provides limited support for attendance at its sponsored conferences and workshops by participants in financial need. It has sponsored International Conferences and Symposia in Logic Programming in Melbourne (ICLP ’87), Seattle (JICSLP ’88), Lisbon (ICLP ’89), Cleveland (NACLP ’89), Jerusalem (ICLP ’90), Austin (NACLP ’90), Paris (ILCP ’91), San Diego (ILPS ’91), Washington D.C. (JICSLP ’92), Budapest (ILCP ’93), Vancouver (ILPS ’93), Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy (ICLP ’94), Ithaca, USA (ILPS ’94), Kanagawa, Japan (ICLP ’95), Portland (ILPS ‘ 95), Bad Honnef, Germany (JICSLP ’96), Leuven (ICLP ’97), Port Jefferson, USA, (ILPS ’97), Manchester (JICSLP ’98), and Las Cruces (ICLP ’99). In 2000 the ICLP conference was integrated into the Computational Logic conference (CL 2000) that took place in London, UK. In 2001 it was collocated with Constraint Programming (CP’02) in Cyprus.
ICLP 2003 took take place in Mumbai (Bombay) India,  ICLP 2004 in St Malo (France),  ICLP2005 was colocated with CP in Sitges (Spain), ICLP06 was colocated with FLOC in Seattle (USA), ICLP07 took place in Porto (Portugal) and  ICLP08 in Udine (Italy), ICLP09 in Pasadena (USA), and ICLP10 was colocated with FLOC in Edinburgh. ICLP 2011 took place in Lexington (Kentucky-USA), while ICLP 2012 will be organized in Budapest (Hungary) in September 2012.

Initiatives: ALP has been trying to strengthen links with other academic communities, partly through conference integration and collocations, partly through supporting initiatives such as the local LP organizations, related conferences such as PADL which invites papers on practical applications of logic, constraint, functional, and concurrent programming; organizations such as Compulog Net and Compulog Americas, their successor organization CologNet, the International Summer Schools on Computational Logic,  see paragraph below. A standardization initiative was undertaken in 2002 by Jan Wielemaker, Manuel Hermenegildo and Bart Demoen.

Schools: ALP organizes and supports International Summer Schools on Computational Logic.  In particular, in 1999 in Las Cruces (NM), in 2002 in Maratea (Italy), in 2004 in Richardson (Texas), in 2008 in Las Cruces (NM), in 2011 in Bertinoro (Italy), just to cite a few.

ALP Sponsored Awards: These are reported in the Award Page.


Voting Members are those who attended one LP conference in the last five years, or paid membership fees at a local Logic Programming Association, such as GULP or AFPC.

Benefits of ALP membership include:

  • Affiliation with the principal international logic programming association.
  • Reduced fees for ALP-sponsored conferences.
  • Free email subscription to the Logic Programming Newsletter that appears quarterly.
  • Early announcement of ALP-sponsored activities.
  • Reduced subscription to the Theory and Practice of Logic Programming Journal of the Cambridge University Press (60 USD $ per year)

ALP mailing list

The (free) registration to the ALP mailing list can be made here: