Six ISI papers presented at AI 2006 conference

July 20, 2006

The 21st National Conference on Artificial Intelligence, held in July in Boston, featured six papers by USC Information Sciences researchers, and was co-chaired by ISI's Yolanda Gil

ISI participation and leadership of AAAI has been a hallmark of the organization since its inception. Robert Balzer of ISI chaired the very first AAAI conference, in 1980, Interest in AI has heightened because 2006 is the 50th anniversary of the coining of the term, "artificial intelligence," at a now- legendary conference that included Claude Shannon, Marvin Minsky, and John McCarthy.

Sponsored by the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the annual meeting is the premier conference in its subject, but had been suffering declining attendance in recent years as the subject of AI has spawned numerous specialty gatherings.

Gil and co-chair Ray Mooney of the University of Texas- Austin made a concerted effort to reverse the trend — with a remarkable result. Attendance for AAAI 21 was up more than 50 percent vis-a-vis AAAI 20.

The conference continued the usual robot competitions (including a robot beauty contest), invited talks, grad student forum, tutorials, and other proven draws. A highlight was a poker tournament among poker-playing artificial intelligences.

The consensus at the conference was that the latest entry was livelier and more rewarding than any in recent memory, and many people credited the efforts of the co-chairs for the result.

The ISI presentations included:

Classifying Learner Engagement through Integration of Multiple Data Sources: Carole R. Beal, Lei Qu, and Hyokyeong Lee
Towards Modeling Threaded Discussions using Induced Ontology Knowledge: Donghui Feng, Jihie Kim, Erin Shaw, and Eduard Hovy
Automatically Labeling the Inputs and Outputs of Web Services: Kristina Lerman, Anon Plangprasopchok, and Craig A. Knoblock
Learning Blocking Schemes for Record Linkage: Matthew Michelson and Craig A. Knoblock
Mining and Re-ranking for Answering Biographical Queries on the Web, Donghui Feng, Deepak Ravichandran