Proceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN Workshop on Approaches and Applications of Inductive Programming (AAIP 2009)
- Inductive programming is concerned with the automated construction of declarative, often functional, recursive programs from incomplete specifications such as input/output examples. The inferred program must be correct with respect to the provided examples in a generalising sense: it should be neither equivalent to them, nor inconsistent. Inductive programming algorithms are guided explicitly or implicitly by a language bias (the class of programs that can be induced) and a search bias (determining which generalised program is constructed first). Induction strategies are either generate-and-test or example-driven. In generate-and-test approaches, hypotheses about candidate programs are generated independently from the given specifications. Program candidates are tested against the given specification and one or more of the best evaluated candidates are developed further. In analytical approaches, candidate programs are constructed in an example-driven way. While generate-and-test approaches can -- in principle -- construct any kind of program, analytical approaches have a more limited scope. On the other hand, efficiency of induction is much higher in analytical approaches. Inductive programming is still mainly a topic of basic research, exploring how the intellectual ability of humans to infer generalised recursive procedures from incomplete evidence can be captured in the form of synthesis methods. Intended applications are mainly in the domain of programming assistance -- either to relieve professional programmers from routine tasks or to enable non-programmers to some limited form of end-user programming. Furthermore, in the future, inductive programming techniques might be applied to further areas such as supporting the inference of lemmata in theorem proving or learning grammar rules. Inductive automated program construction has been originally addressed by researchers in artificial intelligence and machine learning. During the last years, some work on exploiting induction techniques has been started also in the functional programming community. Therefore, the third workshop on |Approaches and Applications of Inductive Programming| took place for the first time in conjunction with the ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming (ICFP 2009). The first and second workshop were associated with the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML 2005) and the European Conference on Machine Learning (ECML 2007). AAIP´09 aimed to bring together researchers from the functional programming and the artificial intelligence communities, working in the field of inductive functional programming, and advance fruitful interactions between these communities with respect to programming techniques for inductive programming algorithms, the identification of challenge problems and potential applications. For everybody interested in inductive programming we recommend to visit the website: www.inductive-programming.org.