|Vol. 1, Nr. 1||Editor: Erik Sandewall||July 31, 1997|
From the editor
|The purpose of this News Journal|
|Welcome to participate in the discussions|
|And then: formal peer review in ETAI|
|ETAI recent developments|
|Received research articles|
|Accepted research articles|
|Announcements of research software systems|
|General debate on approaches to reasoning about actions and change|
|Forthcoming conferences and workshops|
|Special journal issues and other events|
The main purpose of this News Journal is to serve as a vehicle for review discussion about recently published articles in the area of Reasoning about Actions and Change. The character of these review discussions can now be demonstrated in concrete terms. Earlier this month, our ETAI area received Paolo Liberatore's article "The Complexity of the Language A", and the period of questions, answers, and review discussion about this contribution has already started. Please take a look, therefore, at the discussion page for that article. (If you are using HTML frames, you may prefer the frame-oriented discussion page). You will notice how the discussion page contains the same kinds of questions and answers about the article as you would expect to hear at a conference. Here, however, the ETAI discussions are accessible to the whole community, and not only those who happen to attend the conference, and they are retained for future reference. And, maybe the most important of all, the written format provides time to think before writing the questions and the answers.
I hope you will agree that this mode of scientific communication is a significant step ahead from older systems - it's interactive, unlike a conventional journal, it's preserved for future use, unlike a discussion at a conference, and it's available to everyone, unlike an exchange of E-mails.
The top news in the monthly issues of the present News Journal will be a list of recently received articles, which allows you to see what articles have appeared, and what is being said about them. (The list of received articles for our area will be updated continuously, so please check it if you want these news more often than once a month).
The main components of ETAI are now operational, in particular for the present research area: the structure of WWW pages has been set up, the News Journal has started to appear, and the review discussion for the first contribution has started. You are of course welcome to participate in this scheme yourself, both by submitting questions or comments to current articles, and by submitting your own articles. Each article discussion page contains a handle for submitting questions/comments, and the main ETAI structure contains instructions for authors. If you have any questions, please send me a note. Have you seen an article recently where you think a similar discussion ought to be opened, for example, because you have a question to the authors which you think may be of general interest? No problems: send me a note with the reference to the article and the first question, and I'll contact the author and set up the discussion page.
Besides the discussion facility, ETAI also includes a formal review facility leading to acceptance. The ETAI publication scheme is different from the usual one, and works in two steps:
The scope of ETAI is defined by the participating research areas (see the ETAI home page for a menue of the currently participating areas). Review for acceptance is done, within each area, by an editorial committee consisting of about ten leading researchers in that particular area. See, for example, the editorial committee for actions and change. The combination of an open discussion period and subsequent formal review by specialists in the area of the contribution guarantee the best possible "quality control". In fact, we foresee that the quality of articles accepted by ETAI will be distinctly higher than for articles in any conventional journal.
So, if you have a research contribution on Reasoning about Actions and Change which is ready for being submitted to a journal - consider the advantages of submitting it to the ETAI!
In addition to advertising received articles, the News Journal will contain calendarium information (forthcoming conferences, etc), links to current research software, discussion on general topics within our area, and lists of articles in our area which appear in other journals and at conferences. A demonstration issue of the News Journal was issued in May, and gives examples of how these other kinds of news items will be presented.
The members of the subscriber list for the present News Journal will receive a reminder by E-mail each time a new issue is out. In order to subscribe or unsubscribe, please send me a note.
The ETAI is a "federation" of research areas, each with its own area editor, news journal, and reviewing mechanism, just like ours. The area of Planning and Scheduling (area editor: Susanne Biundo) will see the issue of its first News Journal within shortly, and the area of Intelligent User Interfaces (area editor: Elisabeth André) is also close to starting. Additional areas are starting up or being considered.
In a broader perspective, electronic publishing is now developing rapidly. A committee within the ACM, chaired by Joe Halpern is presently working on a new ACM strategy for electronic publishing. Things go at very different speed in different disciplines, but it has reportedly reached far e.g. in astronomy. The ETAI initiative has been reported at several conferences on scientific publication, and has been received with a lot of interest.
Therefore, submitting your article to ETAI achieves two important purposes: obtaining qualified feedback, and giving it the highest possible visibility both now and in the future.
The following article has been received by the present
News Journal. Clicking the title of the
article leads to a page containing the on-going question-answer
debate about the article, with options for submitting a question
or comment, and of course for seeing the full text of the article.
Please click for a list of all received articles in a plain web page, or for a page using frames. (On the date of issue of this first issue of the News Journal, the list only contains Liberatore's article. Additional contributions will be added to the list successively).
This heading will be used in future issues of the present News Journal for reporting on articles which have been accepted by the ETAI after confidential review, thereby achieving proof of high journal quality. At the present time, of course, no article has reached to that point.
This News Journal invites announcements of research software systems pertaining to the area of actions and change. We believe that the development and diffusion of software systems representing the state of the art in research is now very important in this research area. Also, the electronic communication medium is particularly appropriate for this purpose.
The demo issue contained announcements of two software systems for actions and change: the VITAL system and the DLS algorithm.
The demo issue also contained the beginning of a debate on general approaches to reasoning about actions and change. Additional contributions to that debate are invited, and will be organized in a fashion similar to the discussions about received articles.
None at this point.
The present heading will list journal articles on Reasoning about Actions and Change, with special priority on articles in high quality journals containing only a small proportion of AI and KR contributions - articles which may otherwise easily be overlooked by researchers in our field.
We begin with the following articles. We are happy to receive suggestions for what journals and what articles ought to be covered.
jr-fi-30-109 Yan Zhang and Norman Y. Foo:
Deriving Invariants and Constraints from Action Theories.
jr-aij-92-91 B. Shults and B.J. Kuipers:
Proving properties of continuous systems: qualitative simulation and temporal logic.
jr-aij-92-131 Fangzhen Lin and Ray Reiter:
How to progress a database.
jr-aij-92-301 A.D. Kshemkalyani:
Reasoning about causality between distributed nonatomic events.
The News Journal will regularly list references to articles on reasoning about Actions and Change which appear in other journals or conferences. Lists of articles on Reasoning about Actions and Change at AAAI-97, NRAC-97, and IJCAI-97 can be found in the corresponding section of the previous (demo) issue of this News Journal.
Similar lists of relevant articles at some other recent conferences will follow.