Hybrid problems, hybrid solutions

Main conference
Wednesday 5th - Friday 7th April 1995

Workshops and Tutorials
Monday 3rd - Tuesday 4th April 1995

    Halifax Hall of Residence &
    Department of Computer Science
    University of Sheffield

Delegates to AISB may also be interested in attending the 7th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) in Dublin, March 27-31.
Conference addresses
Invited speakers
Conference organisation
Getting to Sheffield


The Tenth Biennial Conference on AI and Cognitive Science organised by the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Sheffield.

The world's oldest AI society, the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB), will hold its Tenth Biennial International Conference at The University of Sheffield.

The past few years have seen an increasing tendency for diversification in research into Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science and Artificial Life. A number of approaches are being pursued, based variously on symbolic reasoning, connectionist systems and models, behaviour-based systems, and ideas from complex dynamical systems. Each has its own particular insight and philosophical position.

This variety of approaches appears in all areas of Artificial Intelligence. There are both symbolic and connectionist natural language processing, both classical and behaviour-based vision research, for instance.

While purists from each approach may claim that all the problems of cognition can in principle be tackled without recourse to other methods, in practice (and maybe in theory, also) combinations of methods from the different approaches (hybrid methods) are more successful than a pure approach for certain kinds of problems. The committee feels that there is an unrealised synergy between the various approaches that an AISB conference may be able to explore. Thus, the focus of the tenth AISB Conference is on such hybrid methods.

The AISB conference is a single track conference lasting three days, with a two day tutorial and workshop programme preceding the main technical event, and around twenty high calibre papers will be presented in the technical sessions. Five invited talks by respected and entertaining world class researchers complete the programme. The proceedings of the conference will be published in book form at the conference itself, making it a forum for rapid dissemination of research results.

The preliminary programme for the conference has been published. Note that the organisers reserve the right to alter the programme as circumstances dictate, though every effort will be made to adhere to the provisional timings and calendar of events.


Sheffield is one of the friendliest cities in the UK and is situated well having the best and closest surrounding countryside of any major city in the UK. The Peak District National Park is only minutes away -- it is a good city for walkers, runners, and climbers! It has two theatres, the Crucible and The Lyceum (a beautiful Victorian theatre, which has recently been renovated). The city has three 10 screen cinemas, and a Library theatre which shows more artistic films. The city has a large number of museums many of which demonstrate Sheffield's industrial past, and there are a number of Galleries in the City, including the Mappin and Ruskin. A number of important historical houses are close to Sheffield such as Chatsworth House. There are large shopping areas in the City and by the end of 1995 Sheffield will be served by a SuperTram system: the line to the Meadowhall shopping and leisure complex is already open.

The University of Sheffield's Halls of Residence are situated on the western side of the city in a leafy residential area described by John Betjeman as "the prettiest suburb in England". Halifax Hall of Residence is centred on a local Steel Baron's house, dating back to 1830 and set in extensive grounds. It was acquired by the University in 1930 and converted into a Hall of Residence for women with the addition of a new wing.

Artificial intelligence at Sheffield

Sheffield Computer Science Department has a strong programme in Cognitive Systems and has a large reseach group (AINN) studying Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks. It is strongly connected to the University's Institute for Language, Speech and Hearing (ILASH). The Institute provides a focus for University-wide research into natural language processing, information retrieval, speech/hearing modelling, artificial intelligence, linguistics, speech science, speech technology, computational psychology and neural networks. This work is being co-ordinated across nine departments in the University. Sheffield Psychology Department has the Artificial Intelligence Vision Research Unit (AIVRU) which was founded in 1984 to coordinate a large industry/university Alvey research consortium working on the development of computer vision systems for autonomous vehicles and robot workstations. Sheffield Philosophy Department has the Hang Seng Centre for Cognitive Studies, founded in 1992, which runs a workshop/conference series on a two-year cycle on topics of interdisciplinary interest. (1992-4: "Theory of mind"; 1994-6: "Language and thought".) The Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering is conducting research into Neural Networks for Medical and other applications.

AI and Cognitive Science researchers at Sheffield include Guy Brown, Peter Carruthers, Malcolm Crawford, Joe Downs, Phil Green, John Frisby, Robert Gaizauskas, Rob Harrison, Mark Hepple, Zhe Ma, John Mayhew, Jim McGregor, Paul Mc Kevitt, Bob Minors, Rod Nicolson, Tony Prescott, Peter Scott, Steve Renals, Noel Sharkey, and Yorick Wilks.

Demos, open days, services

Information on demos by The Departments of Computer Science and Psychology on current research projects in AI and Cognitive Science will be provided during the conference. The Department of Computer Science will have open days where delegates at the conference can meet researchers. It is intended that the Department will provide on site telnet services to delegates.

Last modified: Feb 10 1995
Malcolm Crawford <> Institute for Language Speech and Hearing, University of Sheffield