There was a time when AI was seen by many as science fiction, i.e., the healthy endeavor of speculating about the future. Now the future is here. AI has passed from being a visionary discipline to lying at the core of many commercial enterprises. AI programs scattered through the web influence nowadays our lives: by extracting profiles and offering tailored advertisement, helping us in our searches, establishing social networks, providing entertainment... And not just in the net, but also in the physical world. In Japan there are robots that guide customers through marketplaces advising them where to find the product matching their needs, and realistic replicas of university professors allow them to teach their lectures a hundred kilometers away from the classroom. Not to speak about intelligent prostheses and remote high-precision surgery.
In the Catalan-speaking world we do not have robots in marketplaces yet, but it is coming. Recently, the first commercial humanoid robot has been built. Since AI technology is becoming reasonably mature, companies are progressively relying on it. The Catalan Association for Artificial Intelligence (ACIA
ACIA, the Catalan Association for Artificial Intelligence, is a member of the European Coordinating Committee for Artificial Intelligence (ECCAI). http://www.acia.org.) tries to promote synergies within the research community and also between the different actors playing a role in the development of AI: from universities to industry, from governmental departments to the information society, from entertainment enterprises to citizen services.
One of the main activities of ACIA is the organization of this annual conference (CCIA), which reaches its 11th edition here in Sant Martí d'Empúries, October 22–24, 2008. The good health of basic and applied research in the Catalan AI community and its influence area shows up in the selection of representative papers submitted to CCIA 2008, which are gathered in this volume.
The book is organized according to the different areas in which the papers were distributed for their presentation during the conference. Namely: Agents; Constraints, Satisfiability, and Search; Knowledge and Information Systems; Knowledge Representation and Logic; Machine Learning; Multidisciplinary Topics and Applications; Reasoning about Plans, Processes, and Actions; Robotics; and Uncertainty in AI. Papers appearing in this volume were subjected to rigorous blind review: two scientific committee members (or in some cases, auxiliary reviewers) reviewed each paper under the supervision of the program chairs. The scientific committee members assigned to each paper were determined based on their expertise and their expressed interest in the paper, with an eye toward coverage of the relevant aspects of each paper. This year 54 papers were submitted to CCIA, with 45 accepted for oral or poster presentation at the conference. All accepted papers appear in this volume. The quality of the papers was high in average, and the selection between oral or poster presentation was only based on the potential degree of discussion that a paper we thought could generate. We believe that all the papers collected in this volume can be of interest to any computer scientist or engineer interested in AI.
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the authors and members of the scientific and organizing committees that have made this conference a success. Our special thanks go also to the plenary speakers, Ricardo Baeza-Yates and Hector Geffner, for their effort in preparing very interesting lectures, and to the president of ACIA, Núria Agell, for her kind support.
Sant Martí d'Empúries, October 2008
Teresa Alsinet, Universitat de Lleida
Josep Puyol-Gruart, Institut d'Investigació en Intel·ligència Artificial, CSIC
Carme Torras, Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial, CSIC-UPC