For post-tutorial information
please see the 'AFTER TUTORIAL' web site.


A two-day tutorial at IJCAI 2005
University of Edinburgh George Square
Organised by Aaron Sloman and Bernt Schiele
on behalf of the EC-Funded CoSy Project

Date for tutorial: Saturday 30th July and Sunday 31st July, 2005
Dates for IJCAI: 30th July -- 5th August 2005
Edinburgh, Scotland

We gratefully acknowledge sponsorship by
BT, IBM, SSAISB and InferMed

DETAILED PROGRAMME (with abstracts)

The tutorial was held in the David Hume Tower Faculty Room North, George Square, EH8 9JX



A two day advanced tutorial supported in part by the European Commission's Cognitive Systems initiative, at which tutorials will be presented by seven leading researchers on problems of learning and representation in integrated natural and artificial systems combining multiple functions using different forms of representation and learning. The presentations will illustrate the state of the art and unsolved problems. The tutorial will end with a panel discussion on what the major unsolved problems are and how we can make progress towards solving them. This is part of the IJCAI-05 Tutorial programme.


This two-day tutorial arises out of the European Commission's 6th Framework Cognitive systems initiative. It is organised by two members (Bernt Schiele and Aaron Sloman) of one of the recently funded integrated projects in that initiative, CoSy, described here: as part of that project.

The tutorial is organised as a collection of 90 minute sessions, in which presentations are given by leading researchers, who will cover a variety of topics in representation and learning, both in artificial systems and in biological systems, including a tutorial on animal cognition, and surveys of important unsolved problems.

There should be opportunities for discussion throughout the two days, both during and between the formal sessions. In adddition, the final session on the second day will consist of a panel discussion involving all the presenters and members of the audience, attempting to identify the most important unsolved problems and good ways of addressing them.

The overall aim is to provide attendees with an up to date survey of major points of theory and practice in the design and implementation of complete systems using multiple forms of representation and multiple forms of learning, for instance in robots, or intelligent control systems combining perception, learning, reasoning, planning, action (including 3-D manipulation) problem-solving, language understanding and self-understanding. The focus is on gaps and inadequacies in our current understanding, as well as achievements.

A brief presentation on some important gaps in our perception and understanding of 3-D shape and affordances can be found here.


The Cognitive Systems initiative within the European Community's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) described here in a presentation by Colette Maloney in October 2004, is a visionary research programme sponsoring long term research on very difficult questions about intelligent integrated systems combining many aspects of human competence. The emphasis is on science rather than applications, though the research has many potential applications. The 8 projects in the first wave funded by this initiative, starting in September 2004, were summarised in this presentation by David Vernon at The Hague, in November 2004.

One of the requirements for the funded projects is to engage in training of researchers working on the projects. Another objective is 'community building'. This advanced tutorial aims to meet the normal objectives of IJCAI tutorials and, in addition, it aims to:

People with common interests who first meet at the tutorial will have opportunities throughout the rest of the conference (which ends on 5th August) to to get to know one another and plan research collaboration.

The theme of the tutorial is closely related to one of the Computing Research Grand Challenges sponsored by the UKCRC, outlined in this booklet Grand Challenges in Computing Research edited by Tony Hoare and Robin Milner. One of the seven challenges is GC5: 'Architecture of Brain and Mind'.


The two days will be organised in 2 hour sessions, covering a variety of distinct types of learning involving different sorts of representation, including hybrid systems in which there are strong interactions between subsystems. This could include, for instance, both symbolic and sub-symbolic mechanisms, statistical and non-statistical learning, learning practical skills and learning new forms of self-understanding, along with interactions between very different parts of a complex architecture, such as reactive, deliberative and reflective components. A typical integrated system could be an animal, or child, or robot in which many capabilities are combined. A tutorial on animal cognition from a leading researcher is included. There will also be links to human cognition, and recent work on brain imaging.

The primary aim will be to deepen scientific understanding of both the problems of designing integrated artificial systems combining multiple capabilities and the problems of explaining and modelling naturally occurring integrated systems.


Day 1: Saturday 30th July

SESSION 1 (09:00--10:30): Tom Mitchell
Talk 1: Animal Learning, Machine Learning
SESSION 2 (11:30--12:30): Alex Kacelnik
Talk 2: Animal Learning, Representation and Choice.
SESSION 3 (14:00--15:30): Paul Cohen
Talk 3: Architectures for Cognitive Information Processing
SESSION 4: Jackie Chappell and Ales Leonardis
TALK 4a (16:00--16:45): Jackie Chappell will talk on: How do animals gather useful information about their environment and act on it?
TALK 4b (16:45--17:30): Ales Leonardis will talk on Problems of representation and learning in machine vision.

Day 2: Sunday 31st July

SESSION 5 (09:00--10:30): David Forsyth
Talk 5: Words and pictures
SESSION 6 (11:00--12:30): Richard Dearden
Talk 6: Planning and Learning in Hybrid Discrete-Continuous Models
SESSION 7 (14:00--15:30): Mark Steedman
Talk 7: Plans and the Computational Structure of Language
SESSION 8 (16:00--17:30): Final session: Discussion between speakers and audience, led by the tutorial organisers.
Alex Kacelnik will not be available for this. His place will be taken by Jackie Chappell, his former colleague.


A booklet of notes by the organisers and presenters will be available at the tutorial.


The tutorial organisers will also lead the final panel session on the second day, involving all the presenters.


The tutorial could be useful for PhD students and other researchers in all areas of AI and Cognitive Science who wish to broaden their understanding of current problems and approaches in the study of representation and learning in a variety of contexts. The tutorial should be especially useful for those who wish to understand how to design robots and synthetic agents in which different kinds of functionality are integrated. It should also provide opportunities to get to know other researchers who are interested in building bridges between topics that are normally studied separately.

There will be no specific prerequisites apart from an interest in AI and/or Cognitive science.


Registration, Fees, Accommodation and Travel

Further details regarding fees, registration and accommodation can be found on the IJCAI-05 Web Site

Fees for the tutorial vary according to whether you are registered for the main conference or not, whether you are a student on 1st Aug 2005 or not, whether you register before 21 May or not.

Most IJCAI tutorials last only half a day. This one lasts two days, and is therefore the equivalent of four ordinary tutorials. However the registration fee for this tutorial is only twice the normal tutorial fee because no funding for speakers at this tutorial is provided by IJCAI, and only one tutorial booklet will be produced insteaad of four.

Fee information as on online registration form on 31 Mar 2005 (all inclusive of VAT at 17.5%):

IJCAI-05 Participants
Early Tutorial Fee 95 (prior to/on 21 May 2005)
Late Tutorial Fee 155 (after 21 May 2005)
On-site Tutorial Fee 200  
Student Tutorial Fees
Early Student Tutorial Fee 35 (prior to/on 21 May 2005)
Late Student Tutorial Fee 65 (after 21 May 2005)
On-site Student Tutorial Fee 80  
Non-delegate Tutorial Fees
Tutorial Only Fee 260  
Student Tutorial Only Fee 90  

The Two-day tutorial costs twice the applicable half-day tutorial rate.

See also

Last updated: 5 Sep 2005
Maintained by Aaron Sloman
School of Computer Science, The University of Birmingham, UK