CCC Sponsors Challenges and Visions Track at AAMAS 2013

May 30th, 2013 by Kenneth Hines Post a comment »

The following is a special contribution to the blog from Jeff Rosenchein, Head of The Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In this entry, Jeff highlights the CCC sponsored Challenges and Visions track at the twelfth international conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS ’13) held in St. Paul, Minnesota earlier this month.

The Twelfth International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2013) [image courtesy AAMAS].

The Twelfth International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2013) [image courtesy AAMAS].

The Challenges and Visions Track was a new track, initiated for the first time at AAMAS’13 under the sponsorship of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), an organization established to push the U.S. computing research community to pursue a bold vision for computing research. The CCC awards funding to conferences to be used for prizes to the top 3 papers in the track. The emphasis is on visionary ideas, long-term challenges, and new research opportunities that are outside the current mainstream of the field. This track serves as an incubator for innovative approaches, risky and provocative ideas, and to propose challenges and opportunities for the field in the near future.

An eight-person committee was assembled to review submissions in this track, and to decide upon winners. The committee was chaired by Jeff Rosenschein, and included Sandip Sen, Sven Koenig, Carles Sierra, Munindar P. Singh, Cristiano Castelfranchi, Victor Lesser, and Margo Seltzer as representative of the Computing Community Consortium on the committee.

Twenty-four submissions were received for the track, and underwent double-blind review, as is the current AAMAS practice. Out of these twenty-four papers, six semifinalist papers were then selected through reviewer ratings and discussion. The six semifinalist papers were then sent to be reviewed and voted on by all committee members who were not aware of any author identities (so, for example, the chairman did not vote, nor a committee member who had authored one of the papers). The six “blind” committee members then submitted an ordered ranking of the six semifinalist papers, and the three winners were chosen using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) protocol. As a check, the Borda Count was also computed, and resulted in the same three winners, in the same ordering:

1st place

Curing Robot Autism: A Challenge

Gal A. Kaminka (Bar Ilan University, Israel)

2nd place

Collaborative Health Care Plan Support

Ofra Amir (Harvard University, USA)

Barbara J. Grosz (Harvard University, USA)

Edith Law (Harvard University, USA)

Roni Stern (Harvard University, USA)

3rd place

Systems Resilience: a Challenge Problem for Dynamic Constraint-Based Agent Systems

Nicolas Schwind (National Institute of Informatics, Japan)

Tenda Okimoto (Transdisciplinary Research Integration Center, Japan)

Katsumi Inoue (National Institute of Informatics, Japan)

Hei Chan (Transdisciplinary Research Integration Center, Japan)

Tony Ribeiro (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Japan)

Kazuhiro Minami (Transdisciplinary Research Integration Center, Japan)

Hiroshi Maruyama (Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Japan)

The winners have been recognized at the conference banquet and will also receive travel grants from the CCC. The papers are in the conference proceedings available in the ACM DL and on the IFAAMAS web site at http://www.aamas-conference.org/Proceedings/aamas2013/

Overall, the process spurred very interesting submissions from a wide variety of researchers. This is a useful process that hopefully can be continued in future years with a similar track.

As a reminder, we have an open call for challenges and visions tracks at conference. If you or your colleagues would like to run a visions session at an upcoming conference, please contact us!

(Contributed by Jeff Rosenschein, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)