This year’s International Conference on Case-Based Reasoning, ICCBR 2010, was the liveliest for me in quite a few years.
- Interesting workshops. Check
- Doctoral Consortium. Check.
- Invited talks. Well. One was really interesting *and* well done. Check.
- Talks, posters, conference dinner. Check.
- Lot’s of aggressive mosquitos. Check
But let’s start at the beginning (and forget about the itching mosquito bites).
ICCBR 2010 was held in Alessandria, Italy. The conference was organised by Isabelle Bichindaritz (University of Washington, Tacoma) and Stefania Montani (Università del Piemonte Orientale „Amedeo Avogadro“) who was also the local host. Stefania and her team provided a welcoming and stimulating atmosphere in an up-to-date lecture hall with latest video projection and camera equipment. The workshops were held in standard seminar rooms that were suitably big. With 88 participants the conference could keep its numbers of attendees of the last years.
To be a mentor in a doctoral consortium was a new and interesting experience to me. I was asked by the DC chair Klaus-Dieter Althoff (University Hildesheim and Competence Center CBR, DFKI Kaiserslautern) on very short notice as the original mentor was not available anymore for some reason. I had read the phd proposal on my way to Alessandria and went over the slides with the student just before he held his presentation. It was interesting to see how the three phd students presented their (intended) work and – maybe even more important – what the other mentors pointed out and remarked on. There are not so many opportunities where you can compare your own view on phd supervision with the view of others.
This year only three phd students applied for the DC. Next year’s chair David W. Aha (Navy Center for Applied Research in AI, Washington, DC) has already some ideas to increase the application rate by involving the programm committe members more. So, PCs beware! 🙂
Of the five workshops I was only able to be at two for the whole time, WebCBR and Provenance-aware CBR, as the workshops ran in parallel.
WebCBR: Reasoning From Experiences On The Web (Chairs: Enric Plaza, Derek Bridge, Barry Smyth, Sarah Jane Delany, and Nirmalie Wiratunga)
Advances in Web technology have led to vast amounts of user-generated Web content in the form of blogs, emails, reviews and comments. Increasingly, people search and browse other people’s experiences on travel, medicine, retail, entertainment, etc. While these records of experience can be treated as documents, we take the view that they are more appropriately seen as a rich source of untapped experience data, a valuable asset that can be used to generate Web experience bases through Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) technology.
Proliferation of Web content also means significant increases in Web usage and data about this usage. Many users will have similar searching and browsing needs and should ideally benefit from the search and browsing experiences of others. Better capture of usage data and its greater reuse to enhance subsequent searching and browsing is another opportunity for CBR research.
[…] The papers include Web 2.0 applications that reuse experiential Web content and usage data to support the authoring of new product reviews, to proactively make recommendations in a conversational setting, and to reuse searches for knowledge that can be used to adapt travel itineraries, for example. Other papers address underlying technological issues such as the similarity and retrieval of textual content, the mining of case vocabulary, and the inter-operation of CBR with the emerging Web of Data.
[From preface of workshop proceedings, page 109]
This workshop was already on my list of workshops I wanted to attend as it is very much related to my conference publication on „Case Acquisition from Text: Ontology-based Information Extraction with SCOOBIE for myCBR“ reported on elsewhere. So I was very happy to be asked to be on the discussion panel. Some topics I addressed:
Having Linked Open Data (LOD) available and the ability to enrich texts with LOD in the form of RDFa allows for new applications for Textual CBR. LOD finally enables re-use of vocabularies / ontologies by their provision. I am very much interested on the tool level and in supporting the knowledge engineer in creating and maintaining knowledge of CBR systems.
We have a lot to offer to the LOD/Semantic Web community, e.g. dealing with fuzziness, providing a notion of utility, acceptability, preference; modelled as a priori similarity.
Provenance-Aware CBR: Applications To Reasoning, Metareasoning, Maintenance And Explanation (PA-CBR) (Chairs: David B. Leake, Thomas Roth-Berghofer, Barry Smyth, and Joseph Kendall-Morwick)
Our workshop on provenance-aware case-based reasoning tied in nicely with the WebCBR workshop.
The workshop’s broad goals include: (1) clarifying the nature of provenance, trust, and reputation, as they relate to CBR; (2) examining how provenance information may be used at multiple points in the CBR cycle, and (3) advancing the state of the art in relation to how provenance and meta-data should be captured, represented, and exploited in CBR systems. To enable a synthesis of perspectives, the workshop program includes both paper presentations and time for extensive discussion.
The five papers presented here illustrate some of the wide range of opportunities for provenance-aware CBR, including using traces as a knowledge source and container of experience (Cordier & Mille), using provenance to enrich the CBR process (Leake & Kendall-Morwick, McSherry), and using it to support explanation (Kofod-Petersen, Aamodt, & Langseth, Roth-Berghofer & Adrian). We see this work as an exciting first step towards deeper understanding and further exploration of provenance-aware case-based reasoning.
[From preface of workshop proceedings, page 67]
Even though the workshop had only got five submissions the attendance was overwhelming. More than half of the conference participants joined the workshop and discussed with us on the role of provenance. I’ll update on that in another post.
From the conference talks I only like to point out Ashwin Ram’s keynote speach on „Real-Time Case-Based Reasoning for Interactive Digital Entertainment“.
I propose an alternative approach to designing Game AI: Real-Time CBR. This approach extends CBR to real-time systems that operate asynchronously during game play, planning, adapting, and learning in an online manner. Originally developed for robotic control, Real-Time CBR can be used for interactive games ranging from multiplayer strategy games to interactive believable avatars in virtual worlds.
As with any CBR technique, Real-Time CBR integrates problem solving with learning. This property can be used to address the authoring problem. I will show the first Web 2.0 application that allows average users to create AIs and challenge their friends to play them—without programming. I conclude with some thoughts about the role of CBR in AI-based Interactive Digital Entertainment.
Next year: London!
Next year’s conference will take place in Greenwich, London, hosted by Miltos Petridis. The programme chairs are Ashwin Ram (Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta) and Nirmalie Wiratunga (Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen).