[PlanetKR] CFP: Control Mechanisms for Spatial Knowledge Processing in Cognitive / Intelligent Systems

Mary-Anne Williams Mary-Anne at it.uts.edu.au
Mon Aug 7 12:01:47 EST 2006

*AAAI Spring Symposium
Control Mechanisms for Spatial Knowledge Processing in Cognitive / 
Intelligent Systems
Stanford University, California March 26-28, 2007

Call for Contributions*

Crucial aspects of cognitive systems, may they be robots, (software) 
agents, or humans are (a) spatial knowledge processing and (b) 
mechanisms for control of information processing. Without the former, 
cognitive systems would not be able to act in as well as reason and 
communicate about a world which is inherently spatial. Without the 
latter all the reasoning faculties and activities of the system would be 
employed solitarily leading, in the end, to a failure of the system. 
Consequently, over the last decade(s), there has been a growing interest 
in the understanding and realization of both aspects in all three types 
of cognitive systems. Despite the substantial research effort devoted to 
control mechanisms and spatial knowledge processing as such, control 
mechanisms for spatial knowledge processing have virtually been neglected.

Regarding control mechanisms both the field of AI and the field of 
cognitive science have focused on comparable problems / questions. One 
important topic, for instance, has been whether and how top-down and 
bottom-up influences can be and are integrated to achieve control of 
information processing in artificial and natural cognitive systems. In 
AI it now seems to be generally accepted that to implement 
satisfactorily flexible and at the same time intelligent information 
processing it is necessary to take into account both top-down influences 
like goals and bottom-up influences like environmental stimuli 
triggering certain processing steps. Similarly, research in cognitive 
science has shown that control mechanisms in humans can be conceived as 
being implemented as the interaction of intentions / goals and 
environmental influences. A second fundamental question in both fields 
of research is whether the top-down influences are to be conceptualized 
as being instantiated by a single component of the cognitive system: in 
cognitive science as well as in AI some approaches argue for a central 
controller (i.e., a central executive) whereas others favor the view 
that control emerges---maybe even heterarchically---from the interplay 
of several functional components.

With respect to spatial knowledge processing, research has focused on 
the type of representations employed and the processes working on them. 
Whereas AI research aims at devising new representations and respective 
processes to most efficiently reason about some particular spatial 
problem, cognitive science research tries to reveal and discover the 
representations utilized in human spatial knowledge processing. 
Significantly, the representations identified by both strands of 
research are comparable regarding important characteristics. More 
precisely, representations for spatial knowledge processing are 
characterized in both fields as being (a) qualitative (i.e., 
distinguishing conceptual categories rather than measures), (b) fuzzy / 
imprecise, and (c) analogous (i.e.,---at least some of---the relations 
holding between the constituting parts of the representation are 
analogous to the relations that hold between the entities denoted by 
those parts). Adhering to these characteristics a number of different 
types of representations for different kinds of spatial knowledge 
processing have been proposed in modeling and implementing cognitive 
Goals of the Symposium

Although spatial knowledge processing as well as control mechanisms in 
information processing have thus been considered in close detail, they 
have been considered only independently of each other. Therefore, 
results about and conceptions of control mechanisms in spatial knowledge 
processing are hardly available. For example, at the moment it is 
unclear how the construction of the spatial representations is 
controlled in natural cognitive systems and, likewise, how the 
construction ideally should be controlled in artificial cognitive 
systems. Moreover, in the light of the numerous different 
representations proposed so far, the question arises by which control 
mechanisms the employment of the most suitable representation structure 
can be achieved. The goal of this symposium is to give first answers to 
these and related questions by bringing together researchers from AI and 
cognitive science. Since there is considerable correspondence of AI and 
cognitive science research regarding control mechanisms and spatial 
knowledge processing, assembling researchers from both scientific 
communities will stimulate the emergence of new solutions to the 
existing problems / questions.

Questions to be considered in talks and discussions include, but are not 
limited to:

    * How is the construction of spatial representations controlled?
    * How is processing that makes use of spatial representations 
    * How is it decided which spatial representations to construct?
    * Given several existing spatial representations, how is the 
selection of one or more of them for processing controlled?
    * Can different spatial representations be combined? How is such a 
combination controlled?
    * Are control mechanisms used in spatial knowledge processing the 
same as in other domains? If not, what are the differences?
    * What are efficient ways to realize control in spatial knowledge 

The symposium will be scheduled to provide extensive discussion time and 
group interactions. There will be a series of presentations with 
significant question-and-answer time, as well as topic-oriented group 
discussion sessions.

*Submission Information*
Please email submissions of 3-6 pages (preferably in AAAI format as PDF) 
to schulth [at] sfbtr8.uni-bremen.de. Submissions can be position 
statements, work in progress, or completed work. For general information 
regarding the AAAI Spring Symposium Series see 

*Deadlines  *
symposium submissions:     October 6th, 2006
notification of acceptance:    November 3rd, 2006
camera-ready copies of contributions:   January 26th, 2007

*Organizing Committee*
Holger Schultheis, Universität Bremen, Germany
Thomas Barkowsky, Universität Bremen, Germany
Benjamin Kuipers, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Bernhard Hommel, Leiden University, The Netherlands

*Program Committee*

Christian Freksa, Universität Bremen, Germany
Rainer H. Kluwe, Helmut-Schmidt-University, Hamburg, Germany
Gerard Ligozat, Paris-Sud University, France
Ramon Lopez de Mantara, Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), 
Kathleen Stewart Hornsby, University of Maine, USA
Mary-Anne Williams, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Professor Mary-Anne Williams
    Innovation and Technology Research Laboratory
    Faculty of Information Technology
    University of Technology, Sydney
    Sydney NSW 2007 Australia

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