C o m p u t a t i o n a l    L o g i c



Chiaki Sakama

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 Communication Sciences

Wakayama University, Sakaedani,

Wakayama 640, Japan

Email: sakama@sys.wakayama-u.ac.jp

Compulog Americas ] Logic Programming in Cuba ] Diagrammatic Reasoning at the University of New South Wales ] The logic programming group at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel ] [ IJCAI-97 ] ALP and ILP Research at JAIST ]

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