Minutes of ECCAI General Assembly (GA)
Wednesday August 26 1998, 16.15-18.45
at the Brighton Centre, Rainbow Room, Brighton, UK

Assembly representatives present:





Ramon Lopez de Mantaras



Vadim Stefanuk as proxy





Piero Torasso



Jean Paul Barthes







Danail Dochev



Ann Macintosh



Petr Jirku



Anders Bjorvand as proxy



Costantine D. Spyropoulos



Erik Sandewall as proxy



Ulrich Furbach



David Schwartz



Vytautas Cyras as proxy



Vytautas Cyras



Anders Bjorvand





Frank van Harmelen



Silvia Miksch and Werner Horn



Gennadij Ossipov and Vadim Stefanuk



Erik Sandewall



Boi Faltings



Nada Lavrac



Roger Evans and Ann Blandford



Petr Jirku as proxy



22 countries and 23 Societies represented, which means 44 votes in votations.

1. Opening

The Chairman welcomed all delegates. The representation of the European AI Societies at the General Assembly is good and specified in detail above.

2. Approval of the minutes of the last General Assembly

The minutes were approved.

3. Chairman´s annual report

Wolfgang Wahlster presented a summary of his written annual report with the following main topics:

- the consolidation of the ECCAI financial situation

- the efficient operation of the ECCAI board

- the establishment of the ECCAI secretariat and the establishment of webpages and standardized and electronically available logos

- the status for ECAI conferences and summerschools. In particular, special thanks go to Vytautas Cyras for his organization of ACAI-97.

- the status of ETAI.

- the status of AICom.

- the publisher for ECAI proceedings.

- the ECCAI Fellows Program

- the ECCAI Dissertation Award.

In summary the ECCAI finances are sound and many new benefits for members have been introduced. Several topics are elaborated below.

4. Secretary´s and Treasurer´s Annual Report

Jean Paul Barthes presented the status for the ECCAI finances.

5. PC chair´s report on ECAI-98

Henri Prade presents the outcome of the program for 1998. 158 papers were presented out of 456 submissions. With an acceptance rate of 34% the standard of ECAI papers is high. In spite of some initail doubts of the scheme with

Papers by Young Researchers, the outcome of this initiative was succesful. Even though many countries are represented among the authors, a negative trend is the concentration of many papers from the traditional strong European AI nations, while the number of contributions from small counties and from eastern Europe decrease. The GA thanks Henri Prade for an excellent job.

6. Organizing Committees report on ECAI-98

Roger Evans presents som figures for ECAI-98. Even though the final figures are not available the current figure for number of participants is 550 (620 in Budapest). Some key figure are 200 early registrations, 156 students and 157 ECCAI members). ECAI-98 attracted 431 workshop delegates (3 upto 27 participants) making a surplus for the workshops in total. The tutoraials had 102 participants. 2 tutorials were cancelled, some run on low budget. The current figures indicates a surplus for ECAI-99, however not as large as planned for. The exhibition was small, but it still made a surplus. The GA thanks Roger Evans for all his efforts.

7. ECCAI travel grant program

Nada Lavrac presented the outcome for the ECCAI travel grant program. The total of 17.000 ECU planned for in the budget was used with the following distribution:

- 1000 ECU for ACAI-97 (4 awards)

- 16.000 ECU for ECAI-98 (40 awards)

8. AICOM: New Distribution Sceme and Electronic Version

Wolfgang Wahlster presented the new proposed agreement with IOS Press. In a new contract with IOS Press, the ECCAI members should be granted free electronic access but not get free printed copies. Different schemes for getting authorization for electronic access were discussed.

Printed copies have to be ordered individually at the cost of 30 ECU for 4 issues a year.

The board is pleased with the increased international recognition of AICom and express its gratitude to Georg Gottlob as the editor-in-chief and his predecessor Ramon Lopez de Mantaras.

9. New Proceedings Publishing Agreements for ECAI

A new very attractive agreement with IOS Press has been negotiated. The price is 18 ECU/copy, a 40 % reduction. The new contract is clearly more favourable than the old one with Wiley. Apart from the price, the constraints proposed by Springer are difficult to satisfy for ECCAI. Morgan Kaufmann did not respond.

10. Status and future of ETAI

A special thanks go to Erik Sandewall for his excellent job with this succesful new electronic journal. The association between ETAI and ECCAI seems very favourable and the GA expressed a great interest in the development of this ne concept for publications.

ETAI is now sponsored by the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences (KVA). KVA

prints the paper version of the journal and distribute it freely to sister academies around the world. KVA takes part in the nomination of committee members for ETAI and ensures the highest scientific standards of publication.

11. ACAI-99: presentation of two proposals and site selection

Two proposal for ACAI-99 have been submitted:

- One by Prof. Katharina Morik at the University of Dortmund. The topic is Discovery Science and the proposed venues will be either on Crete or on samos.

- The other from the Hellenic Artificial Intelligence Society. The topic is Machine Learning and Applications and the proposed venue is in Dortmund.

The two proposals were presented and discussed. Both were considered of high

quality. Finally the GA voted with the following outcome: 28 votes for the Hellenic proposal, 15 votes for the Dortmund propsal and 1 invalid vote. The

ACAI-99 will take in Greece. The GA expressed its hope that the Dortmund proposal can be realized, sponsored by some other organization.

12. Progress Report: ECAI 2000

The progress of the preparations for ECAI-2000 were presented by Kurt Sundemeyer and Hans Dieter Burkhart. The preparations proceed according to plan. The only negative event reported were the choice of venue for Robocup-2000 to be in Australia colocated with PRICAI-2000 instead of in Berlin colocated with ECAI-2000.

13. PC Chair for ECAI-2000: Discussion of nominated candidates and decision

The Chairman presented one candidate for being programchair for ECAI-2000: Prof. Werner Horn, University of Vienna. The GA discussed the proposal and decided to elect Horn unanimously.

14. ECAI-2002: Presentation of proposals and site selection

Only one proposal to host ECAI-2002 has been submitted. The proposal from AFIA to host ECAI-2002 in Lyon was presented and discussed. The GA considered the proposal to be of high quality in all respects. The GA decided unanimously to elect Lyon to host ECAI-2002.

15. Budgets for 1998 and 1999.

The budgets for 1998 and 1999 including the membership fees were presented and discussed. The budgets for 1998 and 1999 were approved by the GA.

16. Memberships fees 1998 and 1998

The membership fees for 1998 and 1999 were approved. It was decided that the chairman of the new board should initiate discussions with the German AI Society in order to try to solve GI/KIs specific economic problems due to its large number of members.

17. ECCAI´s Dissertation Price scheme and the ECCAI Fellows program

An ECCAI Fellows program should be launched to recognize individaul who have made significant and sustained contributions to the the field of AI in Europe. The proposed policy for initial nominations includes European AAAI fellows, former ECCAI Chairmen and former ECAI PC Chairs.

A Dissertation award is proposed. The proposed sum for the award is 2500 ECU.

Deadline for nominations is the 1st of December 1998. The award is planned to be presented at IJCAI-99 in Stockholm.

18. Election of the new ECCAI Board

The Chairman announced that Walter Danneman, Nada Lavrac and Piero Torasso for different reason wanted to leave the Board. The remaining members of the present board: Wolfgang Wahlster, Jean Paul Barthes and Carl Gustaf Jansson are all possible for reelection and willing to continue to serve on the board. Four new candidates for the board were presented: Silvia Miksch, Robert Milne, Vadim Stefanuk and Kris van Marke.

The GA voted by the following procedure. For each vote, 1 to 6 names could be given. The outcome was as follows (personal votes in parenthesis): Wahlster (42) , Barthes (36) , Miksch (38), Milne (36), Marke (38) Jansson (29) and Stefanuk (25).

The new board elected by the GA has the following members: Wolfgang Wahlster, Jean Paul Barthes, Silvia Miksch, Carl Gustaf Jansson, Robert Milne and Kris van Marke.

19. Membership status of the Societies.

20. New version of the European AI Directory

21. Any other business

22. Closing