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The 1997 AAAI Fall Symposia

AI Magazine

The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence held its 1997 Fall Symposia Series on 7 to 9 November in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This article contains summaries of the six symposia that were conducted: (1) Communicative Action in Humans and Machines, (2) Context in Knowledge Representation and Natural Language, (3) Intelligent Tutoring System Authoring Tools, (4) Model-Directed Autonomous Systems, (5) Reasoning with Diagrammatic Representations II, and (6) Socially Intelligent Agents.


Computational Cognitive Modeling, the Source of Power, and Other Related Issues

AI Magazine

In computational cognitive modeling, we hypothesize internal mental processes of human cognitive activities and express such activities by computer programs. Such computational models often consist of many components and aspects. Claims are often made that certain aspects play a key role in modeling, but such claims are sometimes not well justified or explored. We then discuss, in principle, systematic ways of identifying the source of power in models.


AI Approaches to Fraud Detection and Risk Management

AI Magazine

The 1997 AAAI Workshop on AI Approaches to Fraud Detection and Risk Management brought together over 50 researchers and practitioners to discuss problems of fraud detection, computer intrusion detection, and risk scoring. This article presents highlights, including discussions of problematic issues that are common to these application domains, and proposed solutions that apply a variety of AI techniques.


Autonomous Agents as Synthetic Characters

AI Magazine

Much of our intelligence derives from our ability to manipulate our environment through collaborative endeavors. Most extant computer programs and interfaces do little to take advantage of such manifestly human talents and interests, leaving broad avenues of human-computer communication unexplored. In this article, we look at a number of autonomous agent systems that embody their intelligence at least partially through the projection of a believable, engaging, synthetic persona. Among other topics, we touch briefly on samples of research that explore synthetic personality, representations of emotion, societies of fanciful and playful characters, intelligent and engaging automated tutors, and users projected as avatars into virtual worlds.



Multiagent Systems

AI Magazine

Agent-based systems technology has generated lots of excitement in recent years because of its promise as a new paradigm for conceptualizing, designing, and implementing software systems. Currently, the great majority of agent-based systems consist of a single agent. Central to the design and effective operation of such multiagent systems (MASs) are a core set of issues and research questions that have been studied over the years by the distributed AI community. In this article, I present some of the critical notions in MASs and the research work that has addressed them.


The Eleventh International Workshop on Qualitative Reasoning

AI Magazine

The Eleventh International Workshop on Qualitative Reasoning was held in Cortona, Italy, on 3 to 6 June 1997. Participants included scientists from both qualitative reasoning and quantitative mathematical modeling communities. This article summarizes the significant issues and discussion raised during the workshop.


Constraints and Agents: Confronting Ignorance

AI Magazine

Research on constraints and agents is emerging at the intersection of the communities studying constraint computation and software agents. Constraint- based reasoning systems can be enhanced by using agents with multiple problem-solving approaches or diverse problem representations. The constraint computation paradigm can be used to model agent consultation, cooperation, and competition. An interesting theme in agent interaction, which is studied here in constraint-based terms, is confronting ignorance: the agent's own ignorance or its ignorance of other agents.


Mobile Digital Assistants for Community Support

AI Magazine

We applied mobile computing to community support and explored mobile computing with a large number of terminals. This article reports on the Second International Conference on Multiagent Systems (ICMAS'96) Mobile Assistant Project that was conducted at an actual international conference for multiagent systems using 100 personal digital assistants (PDAs) and cellular telephones. We supported three types of service: (1) communication services such as e-mail and net news; (2) information services such as conference, personal, and tourist information; and (3) community support services such as forum and meeting arrangements. Participants showed a deep interest in mobile computing for community support.


Computer Bridge: A Big Win for AI Planning

AI Magazine

A computer program that uses AI planning techniques is now the world champion computer program in the game of Contract Bridge. As reported in The New York Times and The Washington Post, this program -- a new version of Great Game Products' BRIDGE BARON program -- won the Baron Barclay World Bridge Computer Challenge, an international competition hosted in July 1997 by the American Contract Bridge League. It is well known that the game tree search techniques used in computer programs for games such as Chess and Checkers work differently from how humans think about such games. This article gives an overview of the planning techniques that we have incorporated into the BRIDGE BARON and discusses what the program's victory signifies for research on AI planning and game playing.