Foundations of Constraint Satisfaction

Research Monograph (download)

Constraint satisfaction is a general problem in which the goal is to find values for a set of variables that will satisfy a given set of constraints. It is the core of many applications in artificial intelligence, and has found its application in many areas, such as planning and scheduling. Because of its generality, most AI researchers should be able to benefit from having good knowledge of techniques in this field.

Published in 1993, this book was the first attempt to define the field of constraint satisfaction. It covers both the theoretical and the implementation aspects of the subject. It provides a framework for studying this field, relates different research, and resolves ambiguity in a number of concepts and algorithms in the literature.

This book is arguably the most rigorous book in the field. All major concepts were defined in First Order Predicate Calculus (FOPC). Concepts defined this way are precise and unambiguous.

This book was published by Academic Press:

Tsang, E.P.K.,
Foundations of Constraint Satisfaction,
Academic Press, London and San Diego, 1993
ISBN 0-12-701610-4,

It is now out of print.

The book is now available for download:


You may download the chapters from the links above.
If you want a hard copy, reprints in ring binders are available from:
School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering
University of Essex
Colchester CO4 3SQ

Note that to save printing cost, the program part, pages 321 to 382, have not been included in the re-print. They are available from the links above. The price is 20 Pounds (to cover cost) plus postage & packaging:

surface mail worldwide: 4 Pounds
air mail Europe: 4.5 Pounds
air mail outside Europe: 10 Pounds
To purchase, please send a bank draft payable to University of Essex at the above address.

Payments should be made in Pound Sterling. If you are paying by foreign currency, please add the equivalence of 6 Pounds to cover bank charges.

The University accepts payments by credit cards.

Edward Tsang
edward (at)
1996.06.21, PDF released 2006.03.21

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