Jean Paul Barthes (AFIA) Ivan Bratko (SLAIS) (Representing also Czech Cybernetic Society) José Cuena (AEPIA) Jean Erceau (AFCET) Baltazar Frankovic (SKS) (SSKI now) Carl Gustaf Jansson (SAIS) (Representing also Denmark Association) Gerry Kelleher (AISB) Jean-Pierre Laurent (ECCAI) Gabriel P. Lopez (APPIA) Ramon Lopez de Mantaras (AI Communications) Nicolaas Mars (repres. NVKI and BAIA) Johan Moller-Holst (NAIS) Vadim Stefanuk (SAAI) Pietro Torasso (AI*IA) Maria Tóth (John v. Neumann Society) Wolfgang Wahlster (GI) Manuel Zacklad (ARC)
Jean-Pierre Laurent welcomes the attendees to the General Assembly. As first part of his report he comments on the modernisation of the ECCAI information distribution, made possible by the introduction of an ECCAI description in the WWW, including the ECCAI statutes (French and English translation version), the member associations, and current rules and procedures. This is a preliminary version that will be refined after new information has been received. It will be possible to include the Board meetings minutes.
Nicolaas Mars presents the financial report for the year 1994/95. ECCAI Financial report 1994/1995 (in ECU) Starting balance 29-07-1994 67955 INCOME Interest 600 Refund ECAI94 loan 15000 TOTAL INCOME 15600 EXPENSES Travel awards 4000 Eastern Europe travel awards 9400 ECAI94 ECCAI General Assembly 415 ECAI94 logo 1060 AI Communications Vol.7 1550 ECCAI Board meetings 6163 ECAI96 preparation 710 Banking costs 173 TOTAL EXPENSES 23471 CURRENT BALANCE 60084 A part of this Current Balance has been committed already: ECCAI Board meetings 1859 AI Communications Vol. 8 1450 ECAI96 preparation 2400 Secretarial support 1020 TOTAL COMMITTED 6729 EXPECTED BALANCE July 1, 1995 53355 where an expected balance of 53355 ECUs will be available by the end of July. The Assembly approves this report.
Jean-Pierre Laurent presents an homage to Susan Struthers who leaves the Secretariat of ECCAI after nine years of services from the Istituto per la Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica (IRST) in Trento. A present was given to her in appreciation of all her years of ECCAI support, applauded by the General Assembly's participants. Jean-Pierre Laurent comments on the need of a Secretariat that must be paid by ECCAI although provided by the corresponding Chairman. The estimated budget for this Secretariat is around 100 ECUs by day with one day of work per week which means around fifty or fifty five days/year. For the next period, the Secretariat will be provided by Nicolaas Mars until ECAI-96. (The secretarial position will be held by Ms. Els van der Heijden. ECCAI's address will now be: ECCAI Secretariat c/o Ms. E.C. van der Heijden Department of Computer Science University of Twente P.O. Box 217 7500 AE Enschede The Netherlands)
Wolfgang Wahlster presents the Program Committee for ECAI-96: Programme Chair:Prof. Wolfgang Wahlster German Research Center for AI, DFKI GmbH Stuhlsatzenhausweg 3 D-66123 Saarbrücken, Germany Tel: +49 681 302.52.52 Fax: +49 681 302.53.41 E-mail: [email protected] Tutorial Chair:Prof. Werner Horn Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence, FAI Schottengasse 3 A-1010 Vienna, Austria Tel: +43 1 5353.28.10 Fax: +43 1 5320.652 E-mail: [email protected] Workshop Coördinator:Dr. Elisabeth André German Research Center for AI, DFKI GmbH Stuhlsatzenhausweg 3 D-66123 Saarbrücken, Germany Tel: +49 681 302.52.67 Fax: +49 681 302.53.41 E-mail: [email protected] Members:Christer BAckstrom Sweden René R. Bakker The Netherlands Wolfgang Bibel Germany Mario Borillo France Ivan Bratko Slovenia Alan Bundy Great Britain Tony Cohn Great Britain José Cuena Spain Robert Dale Australia Danail Dochev Bulgaria Floriana Esposito Italy Boi Faltings Switzerland Martin Charles Golumbic Israel Georg Gottlob Austria Werner Horn Austria Kimmo Koskenniemi Finland Sarit Kraus Israel Ioan Alfred Letia Romania Joseph Mariani France Pedro Meseguer Spain Robert Milne Great Britain Katharina Morik Germany Bernd Neumann Germany Cicile L. Paris Great Britain Jacques Pitrat France Francesco Ricci Italy Tamas Roska Hungary Stuart Russell USA Erik Sandewall Sweden Camilla Schwind France Vadim Stefanuk Russia Olga Stepankova Czech Republic Peter Szeredi Hungary Jan Treur The Netherlands Wahlster explains that the workshop coordinating person is from DFKI because this facilitates coordination with the Program Chair. The Program Committee is approved. It was also approved to distribute the ECAI-96 reference through WWW. Next, the question of multiple submission of papers is discussed. Although ECCAI is in favor of single submission, it was agreed to oblige the person submitting to different conferences to indicate a preference between the conferences in the case of double acceptance. This is feasible for ECAI-96 and AAAI-96. Next, Maria Tóth presents the local arrangements report about ECAI-96. She distributes information about the conference timetable, tutorials, workshops and exhibitions. Also the estimated budget is presented, where a surplus of 29170 ECUs is expected assuming 500 paying attendees where 50% are paying full fee. It is commented that no time slot is provided in the preliminary timetable for the General Assembly of ECCAI. After discussion it is agreed to fix the General Assembly from 12pm to 14pm on Friday 16th. August, 1996. It is also commented that, may be, it is optimistic to assume 50% of full fee from non members of ECCAI Associations. To make the application of the special ECCAI Member Association fee feasible for the conference it is suggested to oblige to provide a membership list from all the associations if they want to ensure discounts to its membership. This may be a condition useful for the purpose of producing a general ECCAI membership in Europe.
It has been agreed between AAAI and ECCAI that from 1996, AAAIs will be scheduled in the second half of July and ECAIs in the second half of August Even with this difference in the conference scheduling it was recommended to keep the same deadline as AAAI for the Call for Papers, that is around 9 January 1996.
Jean-Pierre Laurent reports about ACAI-95 that he attends himself. He was very pleased about the results of this course where seventy people attended (fifty french people), even not being advertised in Amsterdam ECAI-94. ACAI-95 has actually been successfull. All participants have expressed satisfaction with an unusual level of enthousiasm... He considers that the approach followed in this ACAI is very adequate based on: (1) a strong sponsoring (50% of the budget), (2) one week including one weekend and (3) contents focused in a general interest unique topic but large enough, as this year was algorithmic complexity for AI, where some people from other fields were interested. He is positive with respect to ACAI-97 taking into account the ACAI-95 experience. He suggests that the deadline for the bid for this course be December-95 in such a way that the course and the corresponding grants be advertised in the ECAI-96. This may ensure a better diffusion.
Ramon Lopez de Mantaras comments that the situation of AIComm is not good because too few submissions are received. At present he has received 17 submissions where 8 are accepted plus two invited papers. Also a special issue on AI in Scandinavia is planned. AIComm has now been included in the Science Citation Index. However, even the improvements reported, AISB is reconsidering to fund AIComm. The AISB representative explains that the financial problems of this organization do not allow to support AIComm and in an assembly of this association there was a majority against the continuation of the support for AIComm. Wahlster says that even considering that the job of Ramon Lopez de Mantaras is good because the quality of the magazine has been improved, there is a problem with the AIComm formula because of its ambiguity between a magazine and journal contents. He comments that AAAI has also problems with the same formula in its AI magazine. Ramon Lopez de Mantaras may propose a new formula, may be on a line closer to a journal, at the next meeting of the ECCAI Board.
ECCAI should coordinate the writing of this document where two aspects may be considered: first a survey on what happens and what just happened in AI for countries, second a synthesis and evaluation in such a way that the existing successes may induce the support for additional research in different lines and finally a suggestion about what may be done. Nicolaas Mars will coordinate this issue. ECCAI will propose a detailed draft of the report in April 96 to be distributed between associations to allow its discussion in ECAI-96. Nicolaas Mars volunteers to coordinate the writing of this report; this offer is accepted by the General Assembly.
Nicolaas Mars reports that there is a lack of response by the side of the Associations because only three answers had been obtained from 25 Associations. But it is pointed out that this may be no significant at all as not enough information was provided about the use of this future European AI list, nor about a standard format for the addresses. Some members comment that an electronic structure could be more adequate to allow to get on-line updated versions of lists. Other members of the Assembly consider that is important to publish a document even keeping this electronic organization.
Nicolaas Mars presents the ECCAI budget for 1995/96 which starts from the balance of 54374 ECUs presented at the previous point. Without taking into account the profit from ECAI-94, the expected balance on August 96 will be 2474 KECUs but it is commented that the day before the Assembly the results of ECAI-94 were obtained. A profit of 18000 ECUs is obtained from ECCAI, so the expected balance for August 1996 will be 20474 ECUs. This balance will be increased in 15000 ECUs when the ECAI-96 PC loan will be returned. Budget 1995/96 in ECU: Starting balance 1 July 1995 54374 INCOME Interest 800 Profit ECAI94 18000 Total INCOME 18800 EXPENSES AI Communications vol. 9 2500 Travel awards 5000 Eastern Europe travel awards 10000 ECCAI Board meetings 7000 Banking costs 1000 ECAI96 PC loan 15000 Preparation of ECAI96 3000 Printing Membership list 3000 Secretariat costs 6200 Total EXPENSES 52700 Expected balance August 1996 20474 Maria Tóth asks for an additional loan of 5000 ECUs for the local arrangements committee that will be returned by ECAI-96. Wolfgang Wahlster says that for the current year he is going to reduce his needs of money to support the program committee. The additional loan is approved.
On behalf of the Board Jean-Pierre Laurent proposes to the Assembly to approve the criteria to concentrate the travel grants on ECCAI organized events (i.e. ECAI conferences, ACAI courses and IJCAI conferences when they happen in Europe). This was accepted by the General Assembly. José Cuena reports on the submissions received along the years: six submissions where only two for ACAI-97 that where accepted. Also he comments that through Jean-Pierre Laurent he was in contact with Priscilla Rasmussen from IJCAI-95 who asked for support for some European researchers asking for grants to attend this conference. Given the lack of resources of ECCAI it was agreed to give a symbolic help based on a 1000 ECUs support of the Eastern Europe researchers belonging to ECCAI Associations. This money will be taken from the 5000 ECUs budgeted for Western travel awards that will remain in the same figure of previous years: 4000 ECUs. According to the list sent by Miss Rasmussen, only two researchers were in this condition; they will receive a 500 ECUs grant each.
The acceptance of two new associations was discussed: the ADUIS, an Ukrainian Association, and ACIA, a new Spanish AI Association from Catalonia. After the positive report by Stefanuk ADUIS was accepted. José Cuena presented the agreement between AEPIA and ACIA to share the two Spanish votes proportionally to their memberships (88 ACIA, 247 AEPIA). After this agreement ACIA is also accepted ACIA. It was commented also that, to ensure a better accounting of votes distribution between several associations in a country, an alternative assignement to every country of ten votes. Also it was remarked that the current state of vote assignement was unfair to countries with large memberships in its associations. It was commented that some step-by-step formula could be more adequate and should be proposed by the Board. No decision to change the current system was taken, however.
José Cuena announced that the guidelines for ECCAI sponsorship are available in the WWW document of ECCAI. Its contents may be summarized in the following criteria: - ECCAI sponsorship means: * To use the ECCAI name and logo when advertising the event. * Members of ECCAI organisation applying to ECCAI's Travel Award fund receive preferential treatment when applying to go to an event sponsored by ECCAI. * A discount rate of 25% when advertising the event in AI Communications. * ECCAI sponsorship confers no direct financial support or liability. - ECCAI will sponsor any event (conference or course) relevant enough for AI and/or for European people. - The AI relevancy dimension is evaluated based on the conference/course contents and its program committee. - The European dimension may be evaluated in a double view: * The European location * The representation of European know-how in the program committee when the location is outside Europe
It was suggested by Jean-Pierre Laurent that in the bid for ECAI 2000 there should be specified two additional requirements: - A significant exhibition about AI, both industrial and academic should be organized, - A travel grant program for eastern countries members of ECCAI should be an item of the conference budget (independently of the annual ECCAI budget). The bid should be published in September or October.
The AFIA delegate reads a letter by the AFIA Board, claiming that the announcement of the General Assembly was not sent in time. AFIA suggests that the meeting be held, but the election of Board members is to be postponed. The majority of the General Assembly decides to carry on with the meeting, as most have received the announcement in time. Jean-Pierre Laurent communicated to the assembly his impossibility of continuing as chairman of ECCAI by professional reasons of change of activity which does no allow time available. He proposes as new ECCAI Chairman Nicolaas Mars who has been very active and very efficient in his responsabilities as treasurer and vice-chairman and now is providing the ECCAI Secretariat. Also, Walter Van de Velde has to leave the Board by the same problem of time availability. It is necessary to vote for a Belgium representative because ECCAI is a belgian association. Luc De Raedt is presented as a candidate for the 'Belgian' position in the Board. Both proposals are put to a vote. The Assembly approved Nicolaas Mars as new ECCAI Chairman with six abstentions. The rest of the votes are positive. Jean-Pierre Laurent leaves his place as Chairman of the General Assembly to Nicolaas Mars. Nicolaas Mars, the new Chairman, expresses his gratefulness to the General Assembly for electing him and to Jean-Pierre Laurent for his excellent job as a Chairman during this year. The General Assembly aclaims with an applause to Jean-Pierre Laurent. The Assembly approves De Raedt as new Board member with two abstentions. It is commented that it is important that two additional persons follow the ECCAI meetings as observers during this year to ensure that they will be elegible with experience enough at the ECAI-96 Assembly. The idea to elect them as observers is meant to avoid this type of elections at intermediate years between ECAI conferences, where the attendance to the General Assembly is less than to the ECAI conference Assembly. After some discussion about the adequacy of the concept of observer, not considered in the ECCAI statutes, the General Assembly approves to vote for two observers. Five candidates are proposed as candidates for observers: Wolfgang Wahlster (Germany) Carl Gustaf Jansson (Sweden) Helder Coelho (Portugal) Gerard Kelleher (AISB U.K.) Piero Torasso (Italy) Each vote may contain two names. After the vote of 28 votes, the following results are obtained: Votes Wahlster 13 Jansson 6 Torasso 4 Coelho 3 Kelleher 2 It is concluded that Wahlster and Jansson are observers at the ECCAI Board meetings during the period until the Assembly of ECAI-96. Without any other business to deal with, the session is closed at 17h40 min.
Last updated 1996-06-01.