Anchoring Symbols to Sensor Data in Single and Multiple Robot Systems:
Papers from the AAAI Fall Symposium
Silvia Coradeschi and Alessandro Saffiotti, Cochairs
The focus of this symposium is on the connection between abstract- and physical-level representations of objects in autonomous robotic systems. We call "anchoring" the process of creating, and maintaining in time, this connection. Anchoring can thus be seen as a special case of symbol grounding where the symbols denote physical objects.
Anchoring is required in any robot that uses a symbolic representation. A typical example is to identify and track a specific person in a crowd given a linguistic description. Anchoring must also occur in multiple robot systems whenever the robots exchange information via symbolic representations. We talk in this case of "grounded communication." Grounded communication is also needed for efficient human-robot cooperation.
Our main preoccupation is a practical one. All existing robotics systems that comprise a symbolic reasoning component implicitly incorporate a solution to the anchoring problem. However, this solution is typical developed on a system by system basis on a restricted domain. The ambition of this symposium is to create an interdisciplinary community that will develop a general theory of anchoring. The emphasis will be on the computational aspects of anchoring, including the functionalities and representations needed to perform it.