Category Archives: Events

3rd Summer School - Creativity and Evolution

Lake Como Summer SchoolThe third ESSENCE Summer School on the subject of Creativity and Evolution (in games, language, robots, life and art) will run from Monday September 5th until Friday September 9th, 2016. The School will be held at Villa del Grumello, at the borders of lake Como (Italy).

The school will feature a combination of plenary lectures and hands-on ateliers. The plenary lectures will be delivered by international experts in the domains of artificial intelligence, linguistics, evolutionary biology and complex systems science. The four parallel ateliers will take place in smaller groups, in which the participants will acquire the skills to explore novel methods for studying creativity and evolution.

The School is primarily of interest to PhD students, but the School is also open to undergraduate/postgraduate students and researchers with an interest in the subject area. The application is closed now.

About the Summer School

Creativity is the ability to come up with a novel solution to a non-trivial problem. We see creativity in all domains of human knowledge, not only in the arts where it is clearly manifested, but also in science, engineering, economics and business. Can we develop scientific models of creativity that might inspire all of us to be more creative or foster more creativity in organisations? Can we develop artificial systems that exhibit some form of creativity? How can we stimulate creativity in humans?

Psychologists traditionally draw on observations of human creativity to develop and test theories. This remains a fruitful approach, but lately, new methods have lead to exciting breakthroughs. One approach uses the power of the web to stimulate creativity in large groups and then studies how the resulting collective dynamics leads to more creative problem solving using the techniques of complex systems science.

Another novel method uses computer simulations of software agents playing language games with each other. The agents are given software components which invent new concepts, new words, compositional semantics and new grammatical constructions. This has already lead to highly intriguing, concrete and testable models of language creativity. A third approach explores the new opportunities given by more powerful and cheaper sensors, actuators and processors, as well as 3d-printing, to boost the development of evolutionary robotics.

In nature, the most creative process is undoubtly evolution by natural selection. Although this can explain the survival of the fittest there is still a lack to understand the 'arrival of the fittest', i.e. by what mechanisms species can find solutions to the survival problems they face, without an intelligent designer. Exciting new developments have been happening lately in biology and they suggest yet another method to study creativity. Finally, an approach has recently been developed to apply this evolutionary dynamics to understand better the brain processes underlying creativity, particularly insight problem solving.

This summerschool, a successor to earlier very successful schools held in Erice (2006, 2007) and Cortona (2009, 2013), brings together researchers in complex systems science, biology, computer science,  and linguistics. The school will be a combination of lectures by international experts and ateliers where participants acquire the skills to explore one of the novel methods for studying creativity. The scientific and engineering tracks are augmented with tracks in which participants can exercise their creativity in the artistic domain.

About ESSENCE

ESSENCE is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded under the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme (agreement no. 607062) that runs from November 2013 to October 2017. It is a four-year research training network that will build a European research base for the study of evolving semantic in natural and artificial communication. ESSENCE investigates how meaning emerges and evolves through communication among intelligent systems. We develop methods that enable software agents, sensors, and robots to autonomously negotiate meaning among themselves. Our methods are inspired by the capabilities of humans to understand each other despite differences in their individual viewpoints.

The network supports 15 young scientists at the doctoral and post-doctoral levels who investigate different aspects of the overall research theme in close collaboration with industry and a number of leading academic institutions across Europe. The fellows are supervised by leading experts from at least two institutions. They spend extended periods of time visiting other institutions within the network, including secondments with industrial and governmental organisations.

In addition to scientific training, which includes work on doctoral theses, publications, and participation in conferences and workshops, the network provides training in a broad range of transferable skills, such as project management, technical writing, and entrepreneurship. ESSENCE features an extensive programme of training, dissemination, and outreach events.

2nd ESSENCE Summer School - Programme

Day 1: Monday 24th August
09:00 - 09:30 Welcome
09:30 - 11:00 The Geometry of Meaning: Semantics Based on Conceptual Spaces by Peter Gärdenfors
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 - 13:00 The Geometry of Meaning: Semantics Based on Conceptual Spaces by Peter Gärdenfors
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch break
14:00 - 15:30 Structured Representations for Robot Behaviour by Nick Hawes Games and language interpretation by Robert van Rooij
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 - 17:30 Structured Representations for Robot Behaviour by Nick Hawes Games and language interpretation by Robert van Rooij
Day 2: Tuesday 25th August
09:30 - 11:00 Negotiation Amongst Agents — Principles and Techniques by Nicolas Maudet Dynamic interoperability: from ontology matching to cultural knowledge evolution by Jérôme Euzenat
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 - 13:00 Negotiation Amongst Agents — Principles and Techniques by Nicolas Maudet Dynamic interoperability: from ontology matching to cultural knowledge evolution by Jérôme Euzenat
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch break
14:00 - 15:30 Evolved construction-kits for building minds by Aaron Sloman Vector space models of meaning in natural language processing by Georgiana Dinu
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 - 17:30 Evolved construction-kits for building minds by Aaron Sloman Vector space models of meaning in natural language processing by Georgiana Dinu
18:00 - 19:00 Public lecture by Benjamin Kuipers
19:00 - 21:00 Opening reception
Day 3: Wednesday 26th August
09:30 - 11:00 The Foundations of Spatial Knowledge: Representation and Learning by Benjamin Kuipers Evolutionary Semantics: Case Studies with Robots by Michael Spranger
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 - 13:00 The Foundations of Spatial Knowledge: Representation and Learning by Benjamin Kuipers Evolutionary Semantics: Case Studies with Robots by Michael Spranger
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch break
15:00 - 18:00 Guided Tour of Edinburgh
19:00 - 22:00 Social dinner
Day 4: Thursday 27th August
09:30 - 11:00 Adaptive Data Integration by Fausto Giunchiglia
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 - 13:00 Adaptive Data Integration by Fausto Giunchiglia
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch break
14:00 - 15:30 From Concepts to Events: A Progressive Process for Multimedia Content Analysis by Nicu Sebe Computational construction grammar and constructional change by Remi van Trijp
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 - 17:30 From Concepts to Events: A Progressive Process for Multimedia Content Analysis by Nicu Sebe Computational construction grammar and constructional change by Remi van Trijp
Day 5: Friday 28th August
09:30 - 11:00 Logic-based and Probabilistic Symbolic Learning by Stephen Muggleton
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 - 13:00 Logic-based and Probabilistic Symbolic Learning by Stephen Muggleton
13:00 - 14:00 Closing lunch

2nd ESSENCE Summer School on Evolving Semantic Systems

Edinburgh CastleThe ESSENCE Summer School on the subject of Evolving Semantic Systems will run from Monday 24th August until Friday 28th August, 2015. The Summer School will be held at the School of Informatics of the University of Edinburgh and will take place at the Informatics Forum in central Edinburgh.

The School is primarily of interest to PhD students, but the School is also open to undergraduate/postgraduate students and researchers with an interest in the subject area. Tutorials and lectures will be delivered by internationally renowned speakers who are experts in various areas related to the evolution of meaning, from semantic technologies to natural language processing, language evolution and agent-based systems.

For registration details, please see our registration page. A number of bursaries will be offered to cover registration and/or accommodation and subsistence, on the basis of applicants' CVs and motivation letters, which should also explain whether additional funding is available from other sources to cover part of the participation and/or travel cost. Bursaries may involve partial of full reimbursement of accommodation, travel cost, and other participation expenses. Applicants will be notified by 6th August. To apply, please visit the registration page. The deadline for bursary applications is 4th August 2015. Applicants will be notified in good time to make travel arrangements.

About the Summer School

The ESSENCE Summer School will feature a host of lectures, tutorials and training courses delivered by top experts in Artificial Intelligence and related fields. Themes of the Summer School include: computational linguistics; learning; ontology matching; semantic data integration; negotiation in multi-agent systems; robotics; multimedia content analysis. Please visit our Programme page for details.

About ESSENCE

ESSENCE is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded under the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme (agreement no. 607062) that runs from November 2013 to October 2017. It is a four-year research training network that will build a European research base for the study of evolving semantic in natural and artificial communication. ESSENCE investigates how meaning emerges and evolves through communication among intelligent systems. We develop methods that enable software agents, sensors, and robots to autonomously negotiate meaning among themselves. Our methods are inspired by the capabilities of humans to understand each other despite differences in their individual viewpoints.

The network supports 15 young scientists at the doctoral and post-doctoral levels who investigate different aspects of the overall research theme in close collaboration with industry and a number of leading academic institutions across Europe. The fellows are supervised by leading experts from at least two institutions. They spend extended periods of time visiting other institutions within the network, including secondments with industrial and governmental organisations.

In addition to scientific training, which includes work on doctoral theses, publications, and participation in conferences and workshops, the network provides training in a broad range of transferable skills, such as project management, technical writing, and entrepreneurship. ESSENCE features an extensive programme of training, dissemination, and outreach events.

2nd ESSENCE Summer School Registration Page

By filling in the form below, you are registering your interest in attending the School. We will contact you by email as soon as possible (or after the deadline for the bursary applications, if you apply for financial support) to confirm your registration and make arrangements for payment. Note that filling in this form neither constitutes an entitlement to attend the event, nor a legal obligation.

In case of problems, please contact us at  essence-info@inf.ed.ac.uk.

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3rd International ESSENCE Workshop:
Algorithms for Processing Meaning

Call for Participation


Palace of Arts, BarcelonaThe problem of sharing meaning is becoming an increasingly important issue for computational systems, as more and more of these systems are expected to interact with each other and with human users without prior agreement on the semantics of communication, to process and connect unstructured and heterogeneous data generated by different sources, and to coordinate their activities in environments that involve multiple views and objectives. The ESSENCE network studies this problem from an interdisciplinary point of view, bringing together researchers and practitioners from computer science, artificial intelligence, robotics, natural language processing, linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive science.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together students and top researchers from all these (and other) communities to discuss key issues in this space, which have hitherto engaged in largely disconnected efforts to understand phenomena related to the emergence and evolution of shared semantics. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • ontology mapping, matching, and learning;
  • symbol grounding and anchoring;
  • dialogue systems, natural and artificial;
  • semantic search, linked data analysis and curation;
  • information retrieval, extraction, text processing;
  • agent communication and coordination;
  • rational models of communication, language games;
  • human-robot and robot-robot interaction;
  • game-theoretic models of communication and signalling;
  • data and sensor fusion, distributed signal processing;
  • natural language generation and understanding;
  • models of language evolution, emergent semantics;
  • automated data integration, machine translation;
  • crowdsourced common-sense knowledge bases;
  • social network analysis of communication and meaning;
  • multilingual and cross-cultural semantic analysis;
  • cognitive modelling of language acquisition and development;
  • data-to-text generation.

The thematic scope of the workshop is intentionally broad in terms of considering contributions that address some aspect of modelling meaning and its evolution. However, we emphasise that, in line with the ‘Algorithms for Processing Meaning’ theme, submissions that focus on computational aspects of such phenomena will be considered preferentially.

Submission Guidelines


We invite extended abstracts (2-4 pages) and full papers (8 pages, excluding references) for presentation. Papers must be submitted as PDF following the IEEE format (https://www.ieee.org/conferences_events/conferences/publishing/templates.html) through the EasyChair workshop page at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=essence2015. Submissions are not anonymous.

As the number of presentations at the workshop is limited, the peer review process will filter and rank submissions so that the highest-quality and most relevant ones get a full presentation slot. In consequence, some papers may be invited for poster presentation and/or short oral presentation. Papers that have been submitted or published elsewhere are welcome, as the primary purpose of the workshop is open discussion and exchange of ideas.

No formal proceedings are planned for the workshop, so that authors are able to publish their accepted papers in other venues. If we receive a sufficient number of high-quality, original publications, we will consider publishing post-proceedings by way of an edited volume or a special issue of an international journal. By submitting a paper authors agree for the final version of this paper to be published online after the workshop, and are responsible for ensuring that copyright agreements with other publishers are honoured in the case of previously published work.

We particularly encourage submissions from junior researchers and PhD students, and will provide extensive financial support to attend the event for a number of invited participants. The workshop will not charge a registration fee to invited attendees, and lunch and coffee breaks will be provided free of charge. For participants who wish to attend without presenting a paper, a modest workshop registration fee of EUR 150 will be charged to cover catering costs and print materials.

IMPORTANT DATES:
Submission deadline: May 5, 2015 (extended)
Author notification: May 8, 2015
Final versions: May 15, 2015
Workshop dates: May 20-22, 2015

Venue


Residence of InvestigatorsThe workshop will be held at the Residence for Researchers of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Barcelona (http://www.resa.es/eng/Residences/Investigadors) from Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd May 2015.
The Residence also provides good quality budget accommodation in the heart of Barcelona, but participants are free to choose other options for accommodation. Barcelona is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city renowned for its history, culture, and nightlife and is easily accessible by air travel from all major international airports.

Organizing Committee


Kemo Adrian, IIIA-CSIC Barcelona
Gábor Bella, University of Trento (Chair)
Nico Bova, University of Edinburgh
Raquel Fernandez, ILLC Amsterdam
Fausto Giunchiglia, University of Trento
Mercedes Huertas, University of Trento
Mladjan Jovanovic, University of Trento
Fiona McNeill, Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh
Robert van Rooij, ILLC Amsterdam
Enric Plaza, IIIA-CSIC Barcelona
Michael Rovatsos, University of Edinburgh
Carlos Ruiz, Taiger, Madrid
Marco Schorlemmer, IIIA-CSIC Barcelona
Luc Steels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Remi van Trijp, SONY Research Labs Paris
Mila Vukomanovic, University of Edinburgh

Fellows papers presented at the workshop


  • Huertas-Migueláñez, Mercedes, "Crowdsourcing for building and maintaining multilingual knowledge resources", 2015. (pdf)
  • Vourliotakis, Aimilios, Rovatsos, Michael & Ruiz Moreno, Carlos, "Validation of entity relations in linked data", 2015. (pdf)
  • Schlöder, Julian J., Alex Lascarides, "Interpreting English Pitch Contours in Context", Proceedings of the 19th Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue (SemDial 2015, "goDial"), 2015. (pdf)
  • Marques, Tânia, "Towards a taxonomy of task-oriented domains of dialogue", Proceeding of the 18th Conference on Principles and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems (PRIMA 2015), 2015. (pdf)
  • Jovanovic, Mladjan, "Gamifying Knowledge Maintenance", 2015. (pdf)
  • Brochhagen, Thomas, "Minimal Requirements for Productive Compositional Signaling", Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2015), 2015. (pdf)
  • Chocrón, Paula, Schorlemmer, Marco, "Social Coordination Systems with Ontology Heterogeneity", 2015. (pdf)
  • Van Eecke, Paul, "Achieving Robustness through the Integration of Language Production in Comprehension", Proceedings of the EuroAsianPacific Joint Conference on Cognitive Science (EAP CogSci), 2015. (pdf)
  • Bova, Nicola, Rovatsos, Michael, "Towards a Framework for Winograd Schemas Resolution", 2015. (pdf)
  • Adrian, Kemo, "Argumentation and agreement over concept meaning in simple scenarios", 2015. (pdf)

Contact


For any queries related to the workshop, please contact essence-info@inf.ed.ac.uk.

The ESSENCE First Summer School was a success!

Check out the video resuming what happened at the school!

ESSENCE Autumn School - Ischia 2014

 

Moreover, all the videos of the talks delivered by the speakers (along with the slides) are available here!

Have a look at the General Report on the 1st ESSENCE Autumn School by Pavlos Andreadis!

Finally, check out the interviews page!

Stay tuned!

ESSENCE Autumn School—Payment

If you are an Autumn School student you can pay your participation fees by using the buttons below. Only upon payment can your participation be confirmed. If you were offered a bursary you still need to pay, and we will reimburse your costs after the event.

Account details for payment by bank transfer are also available upon request.


Pay the registration fee here:

Registration fee (210€)




Pay the accommodation here by choosing the length of your stay:

Three nights of full board at the hotel, in a double room shared with another Autumn School attendee (340€).
Ferry transfer from Naples to Ischia and back is included in the price.




Four nights of full board at the hotel, in a double room shared with another Autumn School attendee (425€).
Ferry transfer from Naples to Ischia and back is included in the price.




Five nights of full board at the hotel, in a double room shared with another Autumn School attendee (510€).
Ferry transfer from Naples to Ischia and back is included in the price.




Six nights of full board at the hotel, in a double room shared with another Autumn School attendee (595€).
Ferry transfer from Naples to Ischia and back is included in the price.




Seven nights of full board at the hotel, in a double room shared with another Autumn School attendee (660€).
Ferry transfer from Naples to Ischia and back is included in the price.