ICCBR 2007 Highlights

ICCBR07 (International Conference on Case Based Reasoning) is held on alternating years with the ECCBR conference.  The venue was Belfast, a city with nice blue collar charm to it.  Seemed sort of a European version of my hometown of Green Bay.  Stayed in a Queens University dorm room, where I was constantly reminded I am too old to be staying in the dorms.  Should have paid out for a stay for the Europa Hotel where the conference was held…classy place.

Day 1

Perceptions of CBR by David Aha.  Argued that CBR may become irrelevant if there are not more theoretical results published.  Showed stats that more recent CBR publications are system-oriented to back up his argument (but may be true of AI in general).  Suggested that CBR researchers have theory envy towards machine learning practitioners.
Note: A thought occurring to me is that CBR is more a set of design patterns, ones which are fairly accessible by the general public given the diverse interests of the delegates present.
Credible Case Based Reasoning by Eyke Hullermeier. A formal treatment of the retrieval component of CBR (nicely timed to correspond to Aha’s argument).

Day 2

Databases and CBR by Larry Kerschberg.  History of database research.  Currently concerned with meta data, reasoning, and data providence, and moving beyond ’just a schema’ (what can happen to data item).  Suggested using CBR for web resource discovery (Wikipedia, Amazon, Facebook as parts of casebase) as major direction for CBR. Invitation to submit CBR work to special issue of Journal of Intelligent Information Systems on integrating artificial intelligence and database technologies.  Scaling, cross domain issues also brought up.  Ran out of time to cover his paper ”Knowledge Sifter”. He was quite interested in CaseML as well.
Empolis by Ralph Traphoner.  An Eclipse based tool for CBR systems.  Supports a plug-in architecture, a fact alone which makes the tool promising in my mind.  Not sure whether it is commercial or what license it carries.
Industry Panel by GE, GM, and Knexus.  Discussion of what industry wants.  Examples of money making applications was a theme, not surprisingly.  Hybrid systems and Internet data were mentioned as well.  One researcher suggested that releasing data was not worth his time.  Another mentioned he has never heard of a case based recommender in the field.  One audience member raised a concern that many outside of the CBR community see CBR as just KNN and a lot of talk.  Something that strikes me about this community is that “industry” is non-tech.

Day 3

My talk at the workshop on personalizing similarity measures.
jColibri by Juan Recio-Garcia.  CBR system using Lucene.

Day 4

Note: Google Group on context in CBR is now up.
Note: Suggestion that the difference for most people between IR and TCBR is that TCBR systems have some inference step.
CBR in RoboCup Soccer by Hans-Dieter Burkhard. Funny videos!  I’ll try to post these.
Note: David Leake’s paper on data providence won best paper.  Congrats David!

Additional Comments

Note: A “cooking” contest is being help at next year’s ECCBR where recipes are cases.  I like the idea of a contest, and the crossover to the real world (taste of cooking matters), however I wonder if the cooking domain allows for sufficient bragging rights.
Note: Major topics in CBR continue to be similarity measures, context awareness, text processing, and health care support systems.  The new topic for next year is to involve web 2.0 technologies.