Call for Papers for the Special Track on AI for Social Impact

AAAI 2020 will feature a special track on artificial intelligence for social impact (AISI). The track recognizes that high-quality research on social impact domains often leads to papers that differ from traditional AAAI submissions along multiple dimensions. These are motivated by the following issues:
  • Data collection may be difficult and may require innovative methods and validations, for instance, to address large scale data gathering in the field, eliminate bias and ensure fairness;
  • Problem modeling is a time-intensive activity that requires significant collaborations with domain experts and needs to balance a variety of tradeoffs in decision making;
  • Social impact may be realized through time-consuming field studies that typically compare a baseline with the application of novel algorithms in the real world, and the experimental design can be challenging and the evaluation may be multifaceted.
The goal of this track at AAAI 2020 is to highlight these technical challenges and opportunities and to showcase the social benefits of artificial intelligence.
Submissions to this special track will follow the regular AAAI technical paper submission procedure, but will be submitted to EasyChair instead of CMT (please see below for full details).  There will be no transfer of papers between the AAAI 2020 main track and the AISI special track; therefore, authors will need to decide to which track they want to submit their paper (note that only this special track offers a set of AISI keywords). Papers submitted to this track will be evaluated using the following criteria which are different from the criteria for the main track. For acceptance into this track, typically we would expect papers to have a high score on some (but not all)  of these criteria.
Novelty of problem
  1. The social impact problem considered by this paper was entirely novel
  2. The social impact problem considered by this paper was previously studied but not in the AI literature
  3. This paper represents a new take on a problem that has been considered in the AI community before
  4. This paper’s contribution was elsewhere: it follows up on an existing problem formulation
Engagement with literature
  1. Shows an excellent understanding of other literature on the problem, including that outside computer science
  2. Shows a strong understanding of other literature on the problem, perhaps focusing on various subtopics or on the CS literature
  3. Shows a moderate understanding of other literature on the topic, but does not engage in depth
  4. Does not engage sufficiently with other literature on the topic
Novelty of approach
  1. Introduces a new model, data gathering technique, algorithm, and/or data analysis technique
  2. Substantially improves upon an existing model, data gathering technique, algorithm, and/or data analysis technique
  3. Makes a moderate improvement to an existing model, data gathering technique, algorithm, and/or data analysis technique
  4. This paper’s contribution was elsewhere: it employs existing models, data gathering techniques, algorithms, and/or data analysis technique (e.g., the paper presents a new experimental design and evaluation procedure).
Justification of approach
  1. Thoroughly and convincingly justifies the approach taken, explaining strengths and weaknesses as compared to other alternatives
  2. The justification of the approach is convincing overall, but could have been more thorough and/or alternatives could have been considered in more detail
  3. The justification of the approach is relatively convincing, but has weaknesses
  4. The justification of the approach is flawed and/or not convincing
Quality of evaluation
  1. Evaluation was exemplary: data described the real world and was analyzed thoroughly
  2. Evaluation was convincing: datasets were realistic; analysis was solid
  3. Evaluation was adequate, but had significant flaws: datasets were unrealistic and/or analysis was insufficient
  4. Evaluation was unconvincing
Facilitation of follow-up work
  1. Excellent facilitation of follow-up work: open-source code; public datasets; and a very clear description of how to use these elements in practice
  2. Strong facilitation of follow-up work: some elements are shared publicly (data, code, or a running system) and little effort would be required to replicate the results or apply them to a new domain
  3. Adequate facilitation of follow-up work: moderate effort would be required to replicate the results or apply them to a new domain
  4. Weak facilitation of follow-up work: considerable effort would be required to replicate the results or apply them to a new domain
Scope and promise for social impact
  1. Likelihood of social impact is extremely high: the paper’s ideas are already being used in practice or could be immediately
  2. Likelihood of social impact is high: relatively little effort would be required to put this paper’s ideas into practice, at least for a pilot study
  3. Likelihood of social impact is moderate: this paper gets us closer to its goal, but considerably more work would be required before the paper’s ideas could be implemented in practice
  4. Likelihood of social impact is low: the ideas proposed in this paper are unlikely to make a significant impact on the proposed problem
Author Registration
Authors must register at the AAAI-20 EasyChair AISI track paper submission site ( before they submit their abstracts and papers. The software will assign a password, which will enable the author to log on to submit an abstract and paper. To avoid last-minute congestion, authors are encouraged to register well in advance of the August 30 abstract deadline.
IMPORTANT: Authors must enter the names of ALL AUTHORS at the time of registration (by August 30, 2019). According to AAAI policy, all author names must be added at the time of abstract registration, and the list of names as well as the order in which they appear cannot be changed after the final paper deadline (September 5, 2019). In addition, the contact author and contact information cannot change after the abstract submission deadline of August 30, 2019. For the complete policy on Guidelines for Changes to Titles/Authors after Submissions, please see below.
Abstract submission will close at 11:59 PM UTC-10 (midnight Hawaii) on August 30, 2019.
Final paper submission will close at 11:59 PM UTC-10 on September 5, 2019.
Abstract and Paper Submission
As usual, every submission requires both an abstract submission and a corresponding paper submission. There is no option to submit only an abstract, and every paper must be accompanied by an abstract submission.
Please select the AAAI-20 AI for Social Impact Track when submitting your abstract/paper on the EasyChair site (
Abstract submission is required by August 30, 2019. Authors should include a full title for their paper, as well as a complete abstract in the fields provided. Submissions that have “placeholder” (test, xyz, etc.) titles or abstracts (or none at all) will be deleted. Authors of such vacuous submissions will be notified that their abstract has been deleted and will not be allowed to submit a full paper on September 5, 2019.
NeurIPS and AAAI-20 Submissions: Authors who have also submitted papers to NeurIPS 2019 should register and submit their abstracts to AAAI-20 by the August 30 deadline. If they are accepted to NeurIPS by September 4, authors should withdraw their AAAI-20 abstract submissions by the AAAI-20 paper deadline of September 5. If they do not receive their NeurIPS-19 notification before the AAAI-20 paper submission deadline (September 5, 2019 at 11:59 PM UTC-10 (midnight Hawaii)), they should withdraw their abstract from AAAI-20 by this deadline, as NeurIPS-19 and AAAI-20 do not permit dual submissions under any circumstances.  
Papers must be formatted in AAAI two-column, camera-ready style; see the 2020 author kit for details. Papers must be in trouble-free, high-resolution PDF format, formatted for US Letter (8.5″ x 11″) paper, using Type 1 or TrueType fonts. AAAI submissions are anonymous, and must conform to the instructions (detailed below) for double-blind review. Submissions may have up to 8 pages with page 8 containing nothing but references. For final papers, authors may purchase up to two additional pages in the proceedings (see below for details). The last page of final papers may contain text other than references, but all references in the submitted paper should appear in the final version, unless superseded. The AAAI copyright block is hard-coded into the AAAI paper templates to retain proper spacing, and cannot be removed. It is not considered binding until a paper is accepted and a signed copyright form is submitted by the author. Papers that do not meet the submission requirements will be rejected without review.
Electronic abstract and paper submission through the AAAI-20 AISI paper submission site is required on or before the deadlines listed above.  There will be no individual exceptions.
We cannot admit submissions by e-mail or fax. Authors will receive confirmation of receipt of their abstracts or papers, including an ID number, shortly after submission. AAAI will contact authors again only if problems are encountered with papers. Inquiries regarding paper receipt must be made no later than September 6, 2019.
Submission Limit
This year AAAI-20 is enforcing a strict submission limit. Each individual author is limited to no more than a combined limit of 15 submissions to the AAAI-20 main track and AISI track, and authors may not be added to papers following submission (see below for policies about author changes).
Guidelines for Changes to Titles/Authors after Submissions
MODIFICATIONS TO YOUR ABSTRACT/PAPER ARE ONLY ALLOWED UNTIL THE PAPER DEADLINE. Nothing can be changed after September 5. No exceptions will be granted. Please see the full policy on Submission/Paper Modification Guidelines (insert link to
Resubmissions of Substantially Improved IJCAI-19 and NeurIPS-19 Submissions
Authors of declined IJCAI-19 and NeurIPS-19 submissions have two options if they wish to submit substantially improved versions to AAAI-20: 1) Authors may submit them without reference to the previous version, in which case they will be considered as new submissions, or 2) Authors may submit them with the prior reviews included as supplementary material and a cover letter describing the improvements, in which case reviewers will be instructed to take this material into account when evaluating the submission. The cover letter should explain how the revised submission addresses the comments of the IJCAI-19 and NeurIPS-19 reviewers. Such cover letters should be prepended to the PDF paper submission (cover letter + 7 pages + 1 page reference) and a PDF copy of the full IJCAI-19 or NeurIPS-19 reviews should be included as supplemental material.
Supplemental Material
The length of the main submission is strictly limited as indicated above. Authors may also choose to submit supplemental material as a second file. Examples of supplemental material are proofs of theorems that are stated in the main paper, or video demonstrations. This year, we especially encourage the submission of additional examples and visual materials as supplementary material, to provide evidence that the paper would make for a good oral presentation; this will be taken into account in deciding which papers get an oral presentation. Submissions may reference the supplemental material, but should be self-contained. Reviewers are instructed to make their acceptance evaluations based on the main submission, and are not obligated to consult the supplemental material. If proofs or other supplement matter are an important part of the contribution, their essential elements should be included in the main paper. Please be very careful not to violate the blind review requirements (below) in the supplemental material. Those resubmitting substantially improved IJCAI-19 and NIPS-19 submissions with an accompanying cover letter must include a PDF copy of their full IJCAI-19 (resp. NIPS-19) reviews as supplemental material.
Supplemental material submitted at the time of submission for review will not be published or posted if the paper is accepted for publication. At the time of the submission of a final paper for publication, a different supplemental file is requested, which should contain all source files necessary to recompile the accepted paper.
Blind Review Instructions
Reviewing for the AAAI Conference is blind to the identities of the authors. The first page, on which the paper body begins, should include the title, abstract, content areas, and ID number (if available), but not names or affiliations of the authors. The references should include all published literature relevant to the paper. Acknowledgments of funding or assistance should also be omitted. Submissions should not contain pointers to supplemental material on the web.
When referring to one’s own work, use the third person, rather than the first person. For example, say “Previously, Newell (1996) showed that…,” rather than “In our previous work (Newell 1996) we showed that…” Try to avoid including any information that would identify the authors or their affiliations. Such information may be added to the final camera-ready version for publication.
Summary Review Process
Each submission will be evaluated by a Senior Program Committee member (SPC) and, if the SPC believes that the paper has no chance of getting accepted by AAAI, a meta-review of summary reject will be written and submitted to the Area Chair (AC). If the AC also believes that the paper has no chance of getting accepted by AAAI, a summary reject recommendation will be submitted to the Program Cochairs (PCCs). If the PCCs also feel that the paper has no chance of being accepted by AAAI, then the paper will be rejected. Note that this is a conservative process that requires the uniform approval of an SPC, an AC, and the PCCs.
Policy Concerning Submissions to Other Conferences or Journals
AAAI-20 will not consider any paper that, at the time of submission, is under review for or has already been published or accepted for publication in a journal or another conference. Once submitted to AAAI-20, authors may not submit the paper elsewhere during AAAI’s review period. These restrictions apply only to refereed journals and conferences, not to unrefereed forums or workshops with a limited audience and without archival proceedings. Authors must confirm that their submissions conform to these requirements at the time of submission.
Review Process
For papers that are accepted for review, program committee (PC) members will be matched to submissions based on research expertise and interest. Authors will have a limited opportunity to respond to initial reviews. This author feedback will then be taken into account in the final recommendations and reviews may be changed accordingly. PC reviewers will make recommendations to the senior program committee, who in turn will make recommendations to the area chairs (AC). Area chairs will then make their recommendations to the program cochairs, who will make all final decisions following full consultation with area chairs and SPC members during the process.
All AAAI authors and reviewers are governed by the AAAI Publications Ethics and Malpractice Statement (, as well as the AAAI Code of Professional Conduct (
Accepted papers will be allocated eight (8) pages in the conference proceedings; up to two (2) additional pages may be used at a cost to the authors of $275 per page. Final papers found to exceed page limits and or otherwise violating the instructions to authors will not be included in the proceedings. Authors will be required to transfer copyright of their paper to AAAI. Accepted papers will be available via the online schedule at the conference. The published archival versions of the papers will be made available in the AAAI Digital Library and in hard copy after the conference.
Conference Registration and Attendance
At least one author is required to register for the conference to present the paper, and we encourage all authors to attend if possible.
Journal Opportunities
A select set of top-rated papers may be nominated for fast track reviewing at participating journals, including the AI Journal (AIJ) and the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (JAIR). Nominated authors will be invited to submit extended versions of their AAAI-20 papers for fast-track consideration.
Questions and Suggestions
Concerning author instructions and conference registration, write to Concerning suggestions for the program and other inquiries, write to the AAAI-20 AISI Program Cochairs:
Fei Fang (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
Eric Sodomka (Facebook Research, USA)
Milind Tambe (Harvard University, USA)

Timetable for Authors

  • NOW – August 30, 2019: Authors register on the AISI Track web site
  • August 30, 2019: Electronic abstracts due at 11:59 PM UTC-10 (midnight Hawaii)
  • September 5, 2019: Electronic papers due at 11:59 PM UTC-10 (midnight Hawaii)
  • October 17-20, 2019: Author Feedback Window (5:00 PM PDT – 5:00 PM PDT)
  • November 10, 2019: Notification of acceptance or rejection
  • November 21, 2019: Camera-ready copy due at 5:00 PM PDT (California time)

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