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NCL Language

        Unique description language with intelligent syntax for logic and operations research

  Enginest focuses on data processing, artificial intelligence, operations research, logic programming and language analysis technologies. The fruit of such a technological combination is the NCL Natural Constraint Language.

The purpose of designing NCL is to offer users an easy-to-access toolkit for handling constraint satisfaction problems.

Exclusively based on math & logic standards and adopting reduced set of conventional notations, NCL¡¯s cleanness and simplicity make it easily accessible to beginners. Concerning its problem solving capability, it is distinguished from existing products by its unique innovation:

 Semantic Parser adopts pattern recognition technique in natural modeling and model diagnosing
 Mixed Set Programming (over reals, integers, booleans,references and sets) models and solves complex problems at business logic level, contrary to Mixed Integer Programming that necessites linear transformation in solving a non-linear problem
 Resolution rules support flexible control of search: restart of the search tree; selection of search branch by logical conditions; soft-constraint; construction of approximate solutions; heuristic rules, etc.

 Intelligent descriptive syntax with conventional notations
 Dynamic quantification permitting powerful fuzzy reasoning
 Powerful set reasoning capability
 Embedded state-of-the-art OR algorithms
 Flexible low-level and/or partial information accessibility
 Embedded SQL
 Various application module, such as Planning¡¢Scheduling¡¢Routing...






 Introduction to the NCL Language

The NCL language is a description language in conventional mathematical logic for modeling and solving constraint satisfaction problems. It differs from other declarative languages: It models problems naturally in a simplified form of first-order logic with quantifiers, Boolean logic, numeric constraints, set operations and logical functions; it solves problems by mixed set programming over the mixed domain of real numbers, integers, Booleans, dates/times, references, and in particular sets.

 NCL's prototype was submitted in Dec. 1997 to Third International Conference on Systems Science & Systems Engineering. The language was submitted in Mar. 1998 to The Journal of Logic Programming (official journal of the Logic Prog. Association).

 Milestone achievements on the NCL language
After more than 8 years of industrialization, fruitful achievements on the NCL language have been made. Preliminary scientific information about the NCL language can be found in the following publications.
J. Zhou: The NCL Natural Constraint Language. Springer, ISBN 978-3-642-23844-4  (2012).
J. Zhou: The NCL Natural Constraint Language. Science Press Beijing, ISBN 978-7-03-031784-1  (2012).
J. Zhou: The NCL Natural Constraint Language. Science Press Beijing(in Chinese), ISBN 978-7-03-024973-9 (2009).
J. Zhou: Introduction to the constraint language NCL. Journal of Logic Programming. 45 (1-3): 71-103(2000).
J. Zhou: A Note on Mixed Set Programming. Proc. of The 7th International Symposium on Operations Research and Its  Applications, 131-140 (2008).
J. Zhou: Routing By Mixed Set Programming. Proc. of The 8th International Symposium on Operations Research and Its Applications, 157-166 (2009).
J. Zhou: A unified framework for solving Boolean, integer & set constraints. Proc. of ICSSSE: 205-210 (1998).
Li Xiangwen: Modeling, Solving and Optimization of Logistics Systems. Peking University Press, ISBN 978-7-301-22115-0(2013).
Zuo Xiufeng: A Textbook on The NCL Language and The POEM Optimization Platform. Tsinghua University Press, ISBN 978-7-302-33671-6(2013).

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