I implemented a simple Sudoku solver to showcase forward checking and answer a Stack Overflow question.

import sys
from copy import deepcopy

def output(a):
    sys.stdout.write(str(a))

N = 9

field = [[5,1,7,6,0,0,0,3,4],
         [2,8,9,0,0,4,0,0,0],
         [3,4,6,2,0,5,0,9,0],
         [6,0,2,0,0,0,0,1,0],
         [0,3,8,0,0,6,0,4,7],
         [0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0],
         [0,9,0,0,0,0,0,7,8],
         [7,0,3,4,0,0,5,6,0],
         [0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0]]

def print_field(field):
    for i in range(N):
        for j in range(N):
            cell = field[i][j]
            if cell == 0 or isinstance(cell, set):
                output('.')
            else:
                output(cell)
            if (j + 1) % 3 == 0 and j < 8:
                output(' |')

            if j != 8:
                output(' ')
        output('\n')
        if (i + 1) % 3 == 0 and i < 8:
            output("- - - + - - - + - - -\n")

def read(field):
    """ Read field into state (replace 0 with set of possible values) """

    state = deepcopy(field)
    for i in range(N):
        for j in range(N):
            cell = state[i][j]
            if cell == 0:
                state[i][j] = set(range(1,10))

    return state

state = read(field)


def done(state):
    """ Are we done? """

    for row in state:
        for cell in row:
            if isinstance(cell, set):
                return False
    return True


def propagate_step(state):
    """ Propagate one step """

    new_units = False

    for i in range(N):
        row = state[i]
        values = set([x for x in row if not isinstance(x, set)])
        for j in range(N):
            if isinstance(state[i][j], set):
                state[i][j] -= values
                if len(state[i][j]) == 1:
                    state[i][j] = state[i][j].pop()
                    new_units = True
                elif len(state[i][j]) == 0:
                    return False, None

    for j in range(N):
        column = [state[x][j] for x in range(N)]
        values = set([x for x in column if not isinstance(x, set)])
        for i in range(N):
            if isinstance(state[i][j], set):
                state[i][j] -= values
                if len(state[i][j]) == 1:
                    state[i][j] = state[i][j].pop()
                    new_units = True
                elif len(state[i][j]) == 0:
                    return False, None

    for x in range(3):
        for y in range(3):
            values = set()
            for i in range(3*x, 3*x+3):
                for j in range(3*y, 3*y+3):
                    cell = state[i][j]
                    if not isinstance(cell, set):
                        values.add(cell)
            for i in range(3*x, 3*x+3):
                for j in range(3*y, 3*y+3):
                    if isinstance(state[i][j], set):
                        state[i][j] -= values
                        if len(state[i][j]) == 1:
                            state[i][j] = state[i][j].pop()
                            new_units = True
                        elif len(state[i][j]) == 0:
                            return False, None

    return True, new_units

def propagate(state):
    """ Propagate until we reach a fixpoint """
    while True:
        solvable, new_unit = propagate_step(state)
        if not solvable:
            return False
        if not new_unit:
            return True


def solve(state):
    """ Solve sudoku """

    solvable = propagate(state)

    if not solvable:
        return None

    if done(state):
        return state

    for i in range(N):
        for j in range(N):
            cell = state[i][j]
            if isinstance(cell, set):
                for value in cell:
                    new_state = deepcopy(state)
                    new_state[i][j] = value
                    solved = solve(new_state)
                    if solved is not None:
                        return solved
                return None

print_field(solve(state))