ICMS 2018 -- Session 11: Backtrack search techniques in groups and combinatorics South Bend, USA, 25th July 2018

Main goals

We invited experts from AI, combinatorics, computational group theory and related areas with the aim of sharing and exchanging ideas, problems, results and implementations.

OpenDreamKit implication

Organised by Markus Pfeiffer (UStan), and his colleague Christopher Jefferson. Some of Markus Pfeiffers work improves the software tools used in backtrack search in GAP.

OpenDreamKit funded Markus Pfeiffer’s travel to ICMS and the conference fee, and the accommodation for the session participants Paula Hähndel and Wilf Wilson (both from Halle, Germany).

Event summary

We saw a great selection of talks from experts around the world on the current state of the art in backtrack search: Chris Jefferson on partition backtrack, Robin Candy (PhD student of Brendan McKay) on canonical labelling subgroups under conjugacy, Paula Hähndel on using Orbital Graphs (which are used in partition backtrack and canonical labelling), Anton Betten and Matthias Koch on ``Snakes and Ladders’’, Abdullah Al-Azemi (Kuwait University) on HPC-Techniques in backtrack search, and Markus Pfeiffer on backtrack search in the free group.

In particular, two popular techniques Partition Backtrack'' andSnakes and Ladders’’ were discussed, and for the first time in recent decades experts in this are were able to sit together and learn from each other how to combine the two approaches to an even more powerful one.

Results and impact

New collaborations were setup, Robin Candy is going to visit Halle (Germany) and St Andrews later this year to work on improving backtrack search for canonical labels under subgroup conjugacy. Wilf Wilson from Halle who is now working on a joint project with Chris Jefferson, Rebecca Waldecker and Markus Pfeiffer was able to meet experts and get an introduction to the field.

Workshops and Conferences