EPIA'99 Conference Report

Pedro Barahona (EPIA'99 Programme Chair)
Jose Alferes (EPIA'99 Conference Chair)

The Portuguese Association for Artificial Intelligence (APPIA) has been regularly organising the Portuguese Conference on Artificial Intelligence (EPIA). This ninth edition follows previous conferences held in Porto (1985), Lisboa (1986), Braga (1987), Lisboa (1989), Albufeira (1991), Porto (1993), Funchal (1995) and Coimbra (1997). Starting in 1989, the conferences is held biennially (alternating with an APPIA Advanced School on Artificial Intelligence) and became truly international, English being adopted as the official language, with the proceedings published in the LNAI series of Springer (vol. 1695).

This edition, partly sponsored by CompulogNet, reconfirmed a high international standard, largely due to its Programme Committee, composed of distinguished researchers in a variety of specialities in Artificial Intelligence, half of them from Portuguese universities. This has attracted a significant international interest, well expressed by the number of 66 papers submitted, from 17 different countries, 29 of which by Portuguese researchers. >From the 66 papers submitted, 1/3 of them (23) were retained for presentation in the conference.

The conference had 82 participants, of which 29 were from outside Portugal, and was held in the University of Evora, from September 21st to September 24th 1999. Besides the presentation of the accepted papers, the programme encompased 3 invited lectures: by Pascal Van Hentenryck on "Combinatorial Optimization in OPL Studio"; by Nada Lavrac on "Challenges for Inductive Logic Programming"; and by Klaus Fischer on "Holonic Multiagent Systems - Theory and Applications". Also included in the conference programme were 2 tutorial: one by Pavel Brazdil on "Automated Machine Learning and Data Mining"; another by Terrance Swift on "Tabling for Logic Programming based Artificial Intelligence".

The presentation of the 23 accepted papers, was organized in 9 non-parallel sessions, covering a great diversity of Artificial Intelligence areas. Namely, the conference included sessions on: "Constraint Programming"; "Natural Language Processing"; "Spacial Reasoning"; "Logic Programming"; "Theorem Proving"; "Reasoning under Uncertainty"; "Multi-Agent Systems"; "Abduction and Revision"; and "Genetic Algorithms".

As in previous editions of EPIA, two workshops were organised in association with this edition, one in the area of Data Mining (EKDB-99), organized by Fernando Moura Pires, Gabriela Guimaraes and Alipio Jorge, and the other in Natural Language Processing, organized by Gabriel Pereira Lopes, Irene Pimenta Rodrigues and Paulo Quaresma (PROPOR-99).