"An Innovative Application from the DARPA Knowledge Bases Programs: Rapid Development of a Course-of-Action Critiquer," by Gheorghe Tecuci, Mihai Boicu, Mike Bowman, and Dorin Marcu, describes a critiquing agent for military courses of action, a challenge problem set by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) High-Performance Knowledge Bases Program. Murray Burke, the DARPA manager for this program, introduces the article by setting the context for the application. Ontologies also play a key role in the creation and management of a web portal developed by Steffen Staab and his colleagues at the University of Karlsruhe, discussed in their article, "Knowledge Portals: Ontologies at Work." "L As in past years, papers were solicited in two categories: (1) deployed applications and (2) emerging applications and technologies. Deployed applications are systems that have been in use for at least several months by individuals or organizations other than their developers, have measurable benefits, and incorporate AI technologies. Emerging applications are systems that are close to deployment and clearly show an innovative implementation of AI technologies. Papers submitted in this track can also describe efforts that examine the utility of different AI techniques for specific applications. All these case studies are of value not only to other application developers looking for guidance in applying various techniques to their own applications but also to researchers who need to understand the technical challenges provided by real-world problems. Six deployed applications and 12 emerging application papers were presented plus 2 invited talks. Although no single theme emerges from this panoply of excellent applications, they served to demonstrate that the field continues to be fertile ground for innovation.
Recommender systems are tools for interacting with large and complex information spaces. The field, christened in 1995, has grown enormously in the variety of problems addressed and techniques employed, as well as in its practical applications. Recommender systems research has incorporated a wide variety of artificial intelligence techniques including machine learning, data mining, user modeling, case-based reasoning, and constraint satisfaction, among others. The purpose of the articles in this special issue is to take stock of the current landscape of recommender systems research and identify directions the field is now taking.
Mixed-initiative assistants are agents that interact seamlessly with humans to extend their problem-solving capabilities or provide new capabilities. Developing such agents requires the synergistic integration of many areas of AI, including knowledge representation, problem solving and planning, knowledge acquisition and learning, multiagent systems, discourse theory, and human-computer interaction. This paper introduces seven aspects of mixed-initiative reasoning (task, control, awareness, communication, personalization, architecture, and evaluation) and discusses them in the context of several state-of-the-art mixed-initiative assistants. The goal is to provide a framework for understanding and comparing existing mixed-initiative assistants and for developing general design principles and methods.
The last few years have seen a surge in interest in the use of techniques from Bayesian decision theory to address problems in AI. Decision theory provides a normative framework for representing and reasoning about decision problems under uncertainty. Within the context of this framework, researchers in uncertainty in the AI community have been developing computational techniques for building rational agents and representations suited to engineering their knowledge bases. This special issue reviews recent research in Bayesian problem-solving techniques. The articles cover the topics of inference in Bayesian networks, decision-theoretic planning, and qualitative decision theory. Here, I provide a brief introduction to Bayesian networks and then cover applications of Bayesian problem-solving techniques, knowledge-based model construction and structured representations, and the learning of graphic probability models.
This special issue of AI Magazine brings seven articles presenting extended versions of papers from IAAI 2013. These articles were selected for their description of AI technologies that are either in practical use or close to it. Five of the articles describe deployed application case studies. These articles present fielded AI applications that distinguish themselves for their innovative use of AI technology. One article describes an emerging application.