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AISB event Bulletin Item

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: Enabling Domain Experts to use Formalised Reasoning symposium, AISB 2013,2-5 April 2013, Exeter, UK

Part of the annual convention of the AISB

SPECIAL SESSIONS (to be confirmed) with
* Utku nver (market design and matching problems)
* Peter Cramton (auctions)
* TBA (finance markets regulation)


PRE-SUBMISSION DEADLINE (for initial problem and tool descriptions,
  non-binding): 10 December

This symposium is motivated by the long-term VISION of making information
systems dependable.  In the past even mis-represented units of
measurements caused fatal ENGINEERING disasters.  In ECONOMICS, the
subtlety of issues involved in good auction design may have led to low
revenues in auctions of public goods such as the 3G radio spectra.
Similarly, banks' value-at-risk (VaR) models  the leading method of
financial risk measurement  are too large and change too quickly to be
thoroughly vetted by hand, the current state of the art; in the London
Whale incident of 2012, JP Morgan claimed that its exposures were mn
under one of its VaR models, and 9 under another one.  Verifying a
model's properties requires formally specifying them; for VaR models, any
work would have to start with this most basic step, as regulators' current
desiderata are subjective and ambiguous.

We believe that these problems can be addressed by representing the
knowledge underlying such models and mechanisms in a formal, explicit,
machine-verifiable way.  Contemporary computer science offers a wide
choice of knowledge representation languages well supported by
verification tools.  Such tools have been successfully applied, e.g., for
verifying software that controls commuter rail or payment systems (cf. the
symposium homepage for further background).  Still, DOMAIN EXPERTS without
a strong computer science background find it challenging to choose the
right tools and to use them.  This symposium aims at investigating ways to
support them.  Some problems can be addressed now, others will bring new
challenges to computer science.

TOPICS of interest include:

  * for DOMAIN EXPERTS: what problems in application domains could benefit
    from better verification and knowledge management facilities?
    Possible fields include:

    * Example 1 (economics):
      auctions, VaR, trading algorithms, market design
    * Example 2 (engineering):
      system interoperability, manufacturing processes, product classification

  * for COMPUTER SCIENTISTS: how to provide the right knowledge management
    and verification tools to domain experts without a computer science

    * wikis and blogs for informal, semantic, semiformal, and formal
      mathematical knowledge;
    * general techniques and tools for online collaborative mathematics;
    * tools for collaboratively producing, presenting, publishing, and
      interacting with online mathematics;
    * automation and computer-human interaction aspects of mathematical
    * ontologies and knowledge bases designed to support knowledge
      management and verification in application domains;
    * practical experiences, usability aspects, feasibility studies;
    * evaluation of existing tools and experiments;
    * requirements, user scenarios and goals.

THE SYMPOSIUM is designed to bring domain experts and formalisers into
close and fruitful contact with each other: domain experts will be able to
present their fields and problems to formalisers; formalisers will be
exposed to new and challenging problem areas. We will combine talks and
hands-on sessions to ensure close interaction among participants from both

World-class economists will offer dedicated HANDS-ON SESSIONS (to be
confirmed) on the following topics:

* Market design and matching problems (Utku nver, Boston College): These
include matching students to schools, interns to hospitals, and kidney
donors to recipients.  See the documentation for the 2012 Nobel Memorial
Prize in Economic Sciences for more background information
* Auctions (Peter Cramton, University of Maryland): Peter works on
auctions for ICANN (the knock out domain name auctions), Ofcom UK (4G
spectrum auction), the UK Department of the Environment and Climate
Change, and others.
* Finance (to be announced): It is currently impossible for regulators to
properly inspect either risk management models, or algorithmic trading
platforms.  To what extent can techniques from mechanised reasoning
automate some of the inspection process?


We run a two-stage submission process:

         to be reviewed and matched with each other

         normal conference-like peer review

Accepted submissions from both stages will be included in the symposium
proceedings (see below).

In Stage 1 (by 10 December) we solicit 

* from DOMAIN EXPERTS: descriptions of canonical models and problems in
  their domain that might benefit from better verification and knowledge
  management facilities.  Descriptions should focus on aspects of these
  models that domain users find particularly problematic, and suspect
  might be aided by formalisation tools

* from COMPUTER SCIENTISTS: descriptions of formalisation, verification
  and knowledge management tools, with an emphasis on how they could be
  applied in a concrete real-world setting, or tailored to such application

Stage 1 submissions should have 2 to 4 pages and may be summaries of
earlier publications on relevant problems and tools, focused to a target
audience of computer scientists or domain experts, respectively.

The symposium chairs, assisted by the PC members, will review and
initially publish commented versions of the Stage 1 submissions on the
symposium homepage, to provide orientation for Stage 2.  Should matching
problems and tools be identified, we will notify the respective authors.

In Stage 2 (by 14 January) we solicit regular submissions on any of the
TOPICS outlined initially.  We prefer submissions that specifically
address topics identified in Stage 1; for a tool description paper, this
could, e.g., be done by motivating the tool with a Stage 1 problem, and
sketching how the tool could, or will, be applied in this domain.  Each
submission will be refereed by three PC members on average.  Submissions
will be judged based on the PC's views of the likelihood of contributing
to a better matching of hammers (formalisation and verification tools) to
nails (domain problems).

At this stage we accept PDF submissions in any layout but count 1200 words
as one page for fair comparison.  We invite research and position papers,
as well as tool and system descriptions, from 3 to 10 pages.  Besides PDFs
we invite the submission of formalised knowledge representations with
human-readable annotations.

To submit a paper, please go to the Do-Form EasyChair page
( and follow the
instructions there.


Final versions should be prepared in LaTeX according to the AISB
formatting guidelines linked from the symposium homepage.  For the final
version, non-PDF submissions should be accompanied by a PDF abstract of 2
to 4 pages.  Electronic proceedings (with an ISBN) will be made available
to the convention delegates on a memory stick, and on the AISB website.

Given a sufficient number of high-quality submissions, we will invite
authors to submit revised and extended versions to a SPECIAL ISSUE of a
relevant JOURNAL.  (E.g., co-chair Manfred Kerber is on the editorial
board of Mathematics in Computer Science.)


   * Pre-Submission (Stage 1): 10 December 2012
   * Stage 1 Submissions and Comments online: 14 December 2012
   * Regular Submission (Stage 2): 14 January 2013
   * Notification: 11 February 2013
   * Final versions due: 4 March 2013
   * Symposium: 2-5 April 2013 (days to be fixed)


    1. Bill Andersen, Highfleet, US
    2. Rob Arthan, Lemma 1, Reading, UK
    3. Christoph Benzmller, Free University of Berlin, Germany
    4. Peter Cramton, University of Maryland, US
    5. James Davenport, University of Bath, UK
    6. Michael Grninger, University of Toronto, Canada
    7. Manfred Kerber, University of Birmingham, UK (co-chair)
    8. Michael Kohlhase, Jacobs University Bremen, Germany
    9. Christoph Lange, University of Birmingham, UK (co-chair)
   10. Till Mossakowski, University of Bremen, Germany
   11. Colin Rowat, University of Birmingham, UK (co-chair)
   12. Todd Schneider, Raytheon, US
   13. Richard Steinberg, London School of Economics, UK
   14. Geoff Sutcliffe, University of Miami, US
   15. Theodore L Turocy, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social
       Science, University of East Anglia, UK
   16. Makarius Wenzel, University of Paris Sud, France
   17. Wolfgang Windsteiger, RISC / JKU Linz, Austria