The 15th International Joint Conference
on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-97) was held in Nagoya, Japan, August 23-29, 1997. The
conference program contained 17 tutorials, 12 invited talks, 32 workshops, 216 technical
papers selected from 882 submissions from 45 countries, and video and poster sessions.
Wolfgang Bibel from Technical
University Darmstadt provided an invited talk titled "Let's plan it
deductively". He noted that most industrial systems supporting logical task like
planning rarely resort to logic and deduction. He stressed the importance of deductive
planning for achieving truly intelligent systems in AI.
Leora Morgenstern from IBM T.J. Watson
Research Center gave an invited talk titled "Inheritance comes of age: applying
nonmonotonic techniques to problems in industry". She argued that the area of
nonmonotonic reasoning is becoming marginalized within AI because techniques are absent
from industry. This is because researchers focus on commonsense problems which are
irrelevant to industry and few efficient algorithms have developed. She presented an
application of nonmonotonic reasoning to inheritance of business rules and showed some
strategies to realize it efficiently.
Technical paper sessions consist of the
followings: automated reasoning (6 sessions), learning (6), planning (4), diagnosis (3),
qualitative reasoning (3), cognitive modeling (3), constraint satisfaction (2), game
playing (2), expert systems (1), scheduling (1), and neural nets (1). In the automated
reasoning sessions, 6 papers were presented on belief revision, 3 papers on theorem
proving, 2 papers on propositional KBs, 2 papers on description logic, and 4 papers on
nonmonotonic reasoning. The learning session includes 3 papers handling logic and
inductive logic programming. The constraint satisfaction session consists of 2 papers on
constraint programming and 3 papers on the SAT problem.
Three papers were presented at the
distinguished papers session. As a logic related topic, Fangzhen Lin from the Hong Kong
University of Science & Technology presented a paper in which he formalizes the Prolog
cut operator in terms of situation calculus. He showed that the proposed semantics well
behaves for stratified programs, and also showed that the usual implementation of
negation-as-failure operator by cut is correct wrt the stable model semantics.
The IJCAI Award for Research Excellence
is given this year to Aravind K. Joshi from University of Pennsylvania, who made
fundamental contributions to computational linguistics and natural language processing. In
his talk he gave an overview on recent research in natural language processing and
provided future directions in the area. The winner of the 1997 IJCAI Computer and Thought
Award is Leslie P. Kaelbling from Brown University. Her contribution is in application of
reinforcement learning to embedded control systems and in the development of programming
tools for mobile robots. In her talk she argued the difficulty of on-line learning in
autonomous agents, and addressed the usefulness & limit of reinforcement learning in
building complex and adaptive autonomous agents.
The panel titled "The Next Big
Thing" assessed the past accomplishments of AI and highlighted concepts and
technologies that would contribute to computer science at the next stage. Panelists were
selected from various areas of AI: Daniel G. Bobrow (AI programming), Michael N. Huhns
(Distributed AI), Margaret King (Language & Interface), Hiroaki Kitano (Evolutionary
Computing), Ray Reiter (Knowledge Representation), and Munindar P. Singh (Cooperative
System). Each panelist addressed that the Next Big Things are: concurrent constraint model
(Bobrow), interaction-oriented programming (Huhns), user-friendly and robust interface
(King), adaptive complex systems (Kitano), dynamical systems and agent programming
(Reiter), interaction-oriented programming (Singh).
The program this year included nine
"Challenge Papers", which address technical challenges in AI and are expected to
report further progress at IJCAI-99. The exhibition program contained several events
including AI research exhibitions by academy and industry, the new world Expo titled
"Life and enjoyment in Cybertown", the 1st robot-soccer competition
"RoboCup-97", and the 3rd world open computer Go championship.
This was the second time that Japan
hosted IJCAI since IJCAI-79 in Tokyo. The conference was quite successful and more than
1400 people were attended from 48 countries. The next IJCAI-99 will be held at Stockholm,
Sweden, July 31 - August 6.
Department of Computer and
Wakayama University, Sakaedani,
Wakayama 640, Japan