The first part introduces constraint programming, which provides high level features to declaratively model problems by means of constraints. It describes the main existing approaches for solving constraint satisfaction problems, including complete tree search approaches and metaheuristics, and shows how they can be integrated within constraint programming languages.
The second part describes the ant colony optimization metaheuristic and illustrates its capabilities on different constraint satisfaction problems.
The third part shows how the ant colony may be integrated within a constraint programming language, thus combining the expressive power of constraint programming languages, to describe problems in a declarative way, and the solving power of ant colony optimization to efficiently solve these problems.
Keywords: Programming & Software Development