Research on cognitive systems has its historical roots in early work
on AI and cognitive science, but there has arisen a need to remind
these communities of the goals, priorities, and criteria that led to
their initial progress. For this reason, Advances in Cognitive Systems
will favor papers on some topics over those on others. Some authors
will be uncertain whether their work is appropriate for presentation
at the meeting and inclusion in the associated publication. Here we
attempt to anticipate and answer questions about the relevance of
Generally speaking, Advances in Cognitive Systems attempts to foster
research carried out in the original spirit of AI, which aimed to
design and implement computer programs that exhibited the breadth,
generality, and flexibility often observed in human intelligence. We
may contrast this approach with the majority of more recent work,
which aims to develop highly efficient or very powerful techniques
for a narrow class of constrained tasks.
We can clarify this distinction with illustrative examples. For
instance, methods for deep understanding of language are appropriate
topics for the meeting, whereas shallow methods for information
retrieval and extraction are not. Similarly, mechanisms that exhibit
the flexibility and fluidity of human reasoners are welcome, whereas
techniques for efficient theorem proving or constraint satisfaction
are less relevant. Heuristic methods for learning rich cognitive
structures as rapidly as humans are on topic, whereas algorithms
that induce classifiers from large data sets or that learn reactive
controllers from many trials are not.
Here are some specific questions and answers. Authors should view them
as guidelines rather than as strict rules, especially since a paper's
position along some dimension that might argue against its relevance
may be offset by its position on others that make it highly relevant.
- Do papers have to report an implemented computer
- No. Submissions may analyze a challenging problem, propose a new
representation, present an insightful characterization of human
intelligence, or provide formal results about an approach.
- If a paper describes an implemented program, must it involve
the integration of two or more distinct cognitive abilities?
- No. Submissions on integrated systems are very welcome, but a paper
may focus a single facet of cognition if it discusses its role within
a larger cognitive system.
- If a paper describes an implemented program, must it present
experimental results with quantitative performance metrics?
- No. Submissions should make explicit claims and provide evidence
to support them, but such evidence may take many forms, including
demonstrations of new functionality and well-reasoned, convincing,
- Will you consider papers that describe computational models of
- Certainly. Research on cognitive systems aims to reproduce the full
range of intelligent behavior, and people remain our only examples
of broadly intelligent systems. Many key ideas in AI were first
presented in models of human cognition, and we hope to publish some
papers that continue that tradition.
- If a paper describes a computational model of human cognition, must
it present comparisons of the model's predictions to quantitative
results from psychological experiments?
- Definitely not. Submissions may demonstrate that a cognitive system
exhibits the same qualitative capabilities as humans under the same
qualitative conditions and constraints.
- Do papers have to present approaches or mechanisms that are
consistent with knowledge of human cognition?
- Definitely not. There may well exist approaches to achieving
broadly intelligent systems that do not operate in the same manner
as humans, although papers that take this stance may benefit from
making these differences explicit.
- Will you publish papers that describe a new cognitive architecture
or substantial extensions or revisions to an existing one?
- Certainly. Research on architectures for intelligence is one of
the mainstays of cognitive systems. However, papers on new models
stated within an existing architecture should emphasize novel
insights (e.g., unexpected abilities or limitations) that have
resulted from the exercise.
- Will you consider papers on integrated approaches to intelligence
that do not involve a cognitive architecture?
- Definitely. Although cognitive architectures adopt a tightly
integrated approach to intelligence, frameworks that utilize
less closely linked modules are also legitimate candidates.
- Will you publish papers that present theoretical analyses of problems
that cognitive systems must address?
- Yes. Submissions that report theoretical analyses are just as welcome
as ones that describe experiments with computational artifacts. Both
have important roles to play in the study of cognitive systems.
- Will you consider papers that propose new tasks or problems that
challenge the current abilities of cognitive systems?
- Certainly. The community needs challenge problems to drive research in
new directions, so we encourage submissions on tasks that existing
methods cannot handle, provided they describe the problem clearly and
propose ways to evaluate progress.
- Will you publish papers that survey existing approaches to a class of
problems and their limitations?
- Yes, but such submissions will be more compelling if they include
careful analyses of the underlying reasons for these limitations and
propose alternative ways to address the problem class that would not
suffer from the same drawbacks.
- Will you publish papers that describe logical approaches to
- Yes. Many central insights about cognitive systems have come from the
logical tradition, and submissions cast within this framework are
welcome, provided they present material in a manner accessible to the
- Will you consider papers that describe probabilistic or statistical
approaches to cognitive systems?
- Yes. Approaches that use probabilistic or statistical information as
annotations to rich cognitive structures are quite appropriate,
provided they present material in a way accessible to the broader
community. Submissions that describe purely numerical approaches are
not appropriate for the meeting.
- Will you publish papers that discuss computational methods for
- Definitely. However, the most appropriate submissions will describe
approaches that acquire rich cognitive structures at roughly the same
rates as humans, possibly taking advantage of prior knowledge to
constrain the learning task. Papers on purely statistical learning
methods are not appropriate for the meeting.
- Will you consider submissions that present incremental improvements on
existing computational techniques?
- Although we hope to encourage innovative research that moves beyond
incremental refinements, we will also consider papers that extend and
build on existing methods. However, they should do more than
demonstrate minor improvements on standard performance metrics, which
is the default in the mainstream literature.
- Will you publish papers that describe how to achieve an aspect of
cognition or intelligence that has not been studied before?
- Certainly. We hope to include some papers on understudied topics like
creativity, emotion, personality, and metacognition, provided they
present a well-specified approach, provide supported claims, and
otherwise address the review criteria.
- Will you consider submissions that propose a new way to approach an
aspect of cognition or intelligence that has been studied?
- Yes. We hope the meeting will encourage submissions of this sort, in
that the review criteria do not require demonstrating that a novel
approach is better than more established approaches along some
We encourage authors to consider these guidelines seriously before
submitting their papers. If we determine that your topic or approach
is not one of those that fall within the scope of the meeting, then we
reserve the right to reject it without review. This does not mean that
the paper is low quality, but simply that we believe it would not
contribute to the goals of the meeting.
If you have any additional questions that are related to the
relevance or appropriateness of certain topics, please send email to
the Program Chair / Editor, Pat Langley (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org).