Sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
The Twelfth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-94) was held July 31–August 4, 1994, at the convention center in Seattle, Washington.
Each year, the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence provides a unique opportunity for timely interaction and communication among researchers and practitioners from all areas of AI. This year–in response to popular demand–the program cochairs, the area chairs, and the program committee made a special effort to broaden participation and enliven the conference by increasing the number and variety of papers accepted for presentation and for publication in the proceedings.
Both the call for papers and an article in the Fall 1993 issue of AI Magazine announced the goal of increasing conference participation and invited prospective authors to submit papers on a variety of topics, including those that “describe theoretical, empirical, or experimental results; represent areas of AI that may have been under-represented in recent conferences; present promising new research concepts, techniques, or perspectives; or discuss issues that cross traditional sub-disciplinary boundaries.” The community responded enthusiastically, submitting 780 papers to the conference. Extrapolating from the last few years, this is approximately thirty percent higher than the expected number of submitted papers. Moreover, a straw vote among the area chairs indicates that the quality of submitted papers was at least as high as in previous years.
Three reviewers reviewed each paper under the supervision of one of twenty-three senior members of the AI community who served as area chairs. Evaluation criteria were expanded in an effort to recognize a broader range of scientific contributions. Reviewers and area chairs were asked to view themselves not as “gatekeepers” looking for reasons to reject papers but rather as “scouts” looking for interesting papers to accept. The program committee did an excellent job, increasing both the number and variety of accepted papers. Of the 780 papers originally submitted, 55 were either withdrawn by their authors or rejected without review for arriving after the specified due date or for significantly exceeding specified length limitations. Of the remaining 725 papers, 222 were accepted for the conference. Thus, AAAI-94 will be a bigger conference than in previous years, presenting a good cross-section of AI research. Familiar session topics include qualitative reasoning, case-based reasoning, and constraint satisfaction. Session topics that have not appeared in recent conference years include genetic algorithms and neural nets. Completely new topics include theater and video, art and music, believable agents, and learning robotic agents.
AAAI-94 also will have several other exciting programs. The new Student Abstract and Poster Program, which got over 100 submissions, will present a wonderful opportunity for all of us to get acquainted with some of the up-and-coming talent and their great new research ideas. As in recent years, there will be a video track (with publication for the first time this year as a video collection by AAAI), a robot competition, and a robot exhibition. A new AI and the Arts exhibition will follow the very engaging exhibition introduced at AAAI-92, and there will also be a new Machine Translation exhibition. In addition to an exciting slate of invited speakers, the Keynote address will be given by Professor Raj Reddy of Carnegie Mellon University and the AAAI Presidential Address will be given by Professor Barbara Grosz of Harvard University.
Barbara Hayes-Roth and Richard Korf