CFP: 6th Workshop on Nonmonotonic Reasoning, Action, and Change - August 1, 2005

From: Maurice Pagnucco (morri_at_cse.unsw.EDU.AU)
Date: 02/04/05

Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2005 19:51:17 GMT

                         WORKSHOP AT IJCAI-05
         The Sixth Workshop on Nonmonotonic Reasoning, Action, and Change
                         August 1, 2005, Edinburgh


Workshop Overview

The biannual Workshop on Nonmonotonic Reasoning, Action, and Change
(NRAC) was first established in 1995. Since its inception it has been
held in conjunction with the International Joint Conference on
Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI).

An intelligent agent exploring a rich, dynamic world needs cognitive
capabilities in addition to basic functionalities for perception and
reaction. The abilities to reason nonmonotonically, to reason about
actions, and to change one's beliefs, have been identified as
fundamental high-level cognitive functions necessary for common sense.
Research in all three areas has made significant progress during the
last two decades of the past century. It is, however, crucial to bear in
mind the common goal of designing intelligent agents. Researchers should
be aware of advances in all three fields since often advances in one
field can be translated into advances in another. Many deep
relationships have already been established. This workshop has the
specific aim of promoting cross-fertilization. The interaction fostered
by the biannual NRAC has helped to facilitate solutions to the frame
problem, ramification problem, and other crucial issues on the research

Much recent research into reasoning about actions has been devoted to
the design and implementation of languages and systems for Cognitive
Robotics. Successful case studies demonstrate the applicability of these
results for furnishing autonomous robots with high-level cognitive
capabilities that enable plan-oriented behavior. Advancing the field of
Cognitive Robotics, current research in reasoning about actions focuses
on two crucial aspects of robots acting in open, real-world
environments: Reasoning about knowledge and belief, and dealing with a
challenge known as the qualification problem.

Autonomous, mobile robots choose most of their actions conditioned on
the state of their environment. As their information about the world
state is generally limited, robots are equipped with sensors for the
purpose of acquiring information about the external world. The use of
sensing actions is often an integral part of a successful plan, and in
order to devise these plans robots need an explicit representation of
what they believe the world looks like and how sensing affects their
beliefs. Moreover, the execution of a plan needs to be constantly
monitored and beliefs have to be revised in accordance with new
observations. One goal of the workshop is to bring together researchers
from the two areas of reasoning about actions and theory change, in
order to join their effort of developing theories and designing systems
for intelligent use of sensors and belief revision.

Intelligent agents acting in open environments inevitably face the
qualification problem, that is, the executability of an action can never
be predicted with absolute certainty; unexpected circumstances, albeit
unlikely, may at any time prevent the agent from performing an intended
action. Planning and acting under this proviso requires the agent to
rigorously assume away, by default, all of the numerous possible but
unlikely qualifications of their actions, lest the agent be unable to
devise plans which, although not guaranteed of success, are perfectly
reasonable. Assuming away unlikely but not impossible qualifications
means that, if to the surprise of the agent an action actually fails,
then the default conclusion should no longer be adhered to. In this
respect the entire process is intrinsically nonmonotonic, which shows
the increasing importance of pursuing the interrelation between
reasoning about actions and nonmonotonic reasoning.

Comparing and contrasting our current formalisms for nonmonotonic
reasoning, reasoning about action and belief revision helps identify the
strengths and weaknesses of the various methods available. It is an
important activity that allows researchers to evaluate the
state-of-the-art. Indeed a significant advantage of using logical
formalisms as representation schemes is that they facilitate the
evaluation process. Moreover, following the initial success, more
complex real-world applications are now within grasp. An
implementational testbed is a primary means by which existing theories
of nonmonotonic reasoning, action, and change are evaluated.
Experimentation with prototype implementations not only helps to
identify obstacles that arise in transforming theoretical solutions into
operational solutions, but also highlights the need for the improvement
of existing formal integrative frameworks for intelligent agents at the
ontological level.

For the purpose of developing practical solutions to real-world
problems, some obvious questions arise: What nonmonotonic logics and
what theories of action and change have been implemented? Which ones are
implementable? What can be learned from existing applications? What is
needed to improve their scope and performance?

Despite the progress over the last few years, there remain the above
mentioned and other difficult open problems for theories of nonmonotonic
reasoning, action, and change. We hope to explore new approaches to
these problems during this workshop.

This workshop will bring together researchers from all three areas with
the aim to:

     * Compare and evaluate existing formalisms.
     * Report on new developments.
     * Identify the most important open problems in all three areas.
     * Identify possibilities of solution transferral between the areas.
     * Identify important challenges for the advancement of the areas.

This workshop at IJCAI-2005 will provide a unique opportunity for
researchers from all three fields to be brought together at a single
forum with the prime objective to communicate important recent advances
in each field and exchange ideas. As these fundamental areas mature it
is vital that researchers maintain a dialog through which they can
cooperatively explore common links. The workshop's goal will be to work
against the tendency of these rapidly advancing fields to drift apart.

Submission Details

The Programme Committee invites submissions of long papers describing
new results of length no more than 12 pages of standard LaTeX 12pt
article format. The format of the papers may be in either hardcopy form
(send 4 copies) or electronic form (postscript only). The Programme
Committee has a preference for electronic submissions. To submit a paper
electronically, the authors should send an email with subject "NRAC'05
Submission" to both co-chairs (see below), with the file of the paper as
an attachment (preferably Postscript format), and the following
information in the body of the email in plain text:

     * Paper title.
     * Author names.
     * Postal address, email address, and phone number of the contact author.
     * A short abstract and up to five keywords.

Authors unable to submit their paper electronically should post four
hardcopies of their paper to one of the co-chairs at the addresses
listed below. The paper should include an email address, and a postal
address of the contact author. Accepted papers will be available in a
formal proceedings, and distributed at the workshop. If the accepted
papers are of sufficient quality the Programme Committee will seek to
publish a special issue in an appropriate international journal or
lecture note series.

The Programme Committee also welcomes suggestions for panels. These may
be submitted by email to the Workshop co-chairs.

Important Dates

     Deadline for Submission: April 11, 2005
     Notification of Acceptance: May 9, 2005
     Compilation of Participant List: April 15, 2005
     Final version due: May 30, 2005
     Workshop: August 1, 2005

Paper Submission

Postscript files should be sent to and

Hardcopy papers should be sent to one of the Workshop Chairs. All
submissions should include email address, and postal address of all
authors. Deadline dates will be strictly adhered to.

Workshop Chairs

     Leora Morgenstern (Co-chair)
     IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
     30 Saw Mill River Road, Mail Stop H1B54
     Hawthorne, NY 10532, USA
     Email: <>

     Maurice Pagnucco (Co-Chair)
     School of Computer Science and Engineering
     The University of New South Wales
     Sydney NSW 2052 AUSTRALIA
     Email: <>
     Tel: +61-2-9385 6925
     Fax: +61-2-9385 5995

Programme Committee

     Gerhard Brewka University of Leipzig (Germany)
     Norman Foo University of New South Wales (Australia)
     Michael Gelfond Texas Tech University (USA)
     Gerhard Lakemeyer Aachen University of Technology (Germany)
     Jerome Lang Universite Paul Sabatier (France)
     Fangzhen Lin Hong Kong Univ. of Science & Tech (China)
     Leora Morgenstern IBM T.J.Watson Research Center (USA)
     Maurice Pagnucco University of New South Wales (Australia)
     Pavlos Peppas Patras University (Greece)
     Michael Thielscher Dresden University of Technology (Germany)
     Mary-Anne Williams University of Technology, Sydney (Australia)


Attendance at the Workshop will be limited and by invitation only.
Authors of accepted papers will be invited. Others wishing to attend
will be selected on the basis of their track record, and should submit a
brief description of their work and interest in this area (including a
short list of publications). Participants must register for the main
IJCAI conference. IJCAI will charge an additional fee for workshop

Maurice Pagnucco email:
School of Computer Science and Engineering phone: +61-2-9385 6925
The University of New South Wales fax : +61-2-9385 5995

[ is moderated. To submit, just post and be patient, or if ]
[ that fails mail your article to <>, and ]
[ ask your news administrator to fix the problems with your system. ]