President’s Report


Presented at the ECCAI General Assembly on 6th July 2001 at the

ACAI Summer School, Prague, Czech Republic




Founded in 1982, ECCAI currently represents 26 European societies for Artificial Intelligence and is now 19 years old. ECCAI is in very good shape to meet the challenges of the new millennium. While the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) observes a slight erosion in membership each year and represents about 5000 members, ECCAI is now the world’s largest AI organisation representing more than 6000 European AI researchers and practitioners.


The following is a summary of ECCAI’s activities over the past year.


Travel Grants

This year 10 awards of 400 Euros each were awarded to students attending the ACAI summer school. Thanks to Silvia Coradeschi for organising this.

A summary of the student reports from ECAI 2000 was published in AI Coms.


Dissertation Award

The winner of the ECCAI Artificial Intelligence Dissertation Award 2001 is Christian FREI, Lausanne, CH, for "Abstraction Techniques for Resource Allocation in Communication Networks". Thanks to Silvia Miksch for coordinating this big task. The Award will be presented as part of the ACAI summer school in Prague.


ECCAI Fellows

Eight new fellows were selected by the ECCAI Fellow Selection Panel:


Ivan Bratko

Professor, Ljubljana University and J. Stefan Institute,  Ljubljana, Slovenia

Marie-Odile Cordier

Professor, University of Rennes 1, and IRISA-INRIA, Rennes, France

Jean-Paul Haton

Professor, LORIA/INRIA- Université Henri-Poincaré, Nancy 1, Nancy, France

Bernhard Nebel

Professor, Albert-Ludwigs-University, Frieberg, Germany

Hans-Hellmut Nagel

Professor, University of Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

Luis Pereira

Professor, Universidade Nova de Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

Vadim Stefanuk

Professor, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia

Bob Weslinga

Professor, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


They have all made outstanding contributions over many years to the European AI community and we congratulate them.

Special thanks to the Selection Panel of Tony Cohn, Ramon Lopez de Mantaras, Nicolaas Mars, Rob Milne, Oliviero Stock and Erik Sandewall

The ECCAI Fellows breakfast will take place on the Wednesday morning 8th August at IJCAI in Seattle.


ECCAI Bulletin

In order to improve communication with the ECCAI membership, the ECCAI board initiated a monthly Bulletin to go to each society. This provides topical information and reminders of up incoming ECCAI activities; as well as the contents of the recent issues of ETAI and AI Coms. Marc Ayel has taken the editorialship of this and Uli Furbach has established a special email list.


Cooperation with IOS Press

We continue to cooperate with IOS press on the publication of AI Coms. The members of the ECCAI member societies have access to the on-line version through a web site. Unfortunately, there have been major problems with this web site and it has not been available for most of the year.

We are also cooperating with them to launch an IOS Press Book Series ‘Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence Applications’.


Closer links with Industry

The ECCAI Board continues to discuss ways of involving industry more in the activities of ECCAI.  Although progress is slow, we are looking at ways to provide valuable services to our member organisations and their members in exchange for appropriate sponsorship. Kris van Marcke has been leading these efforts and Uli Furbach has been exploring possible European Community financial support.


Closer links with Publishers

The ECCAI Board has had discussions with Elsevier and the IEEE regarding ways to provide their publications to the ECCAI member societies. Discussions are continuing.


World AI Society Coordination

AAAI have started discussions on what, if anything, should be done on a global level to bring together AI societies worldwide. A discussion meeting will be held at IJCAI-2001 to explore what is appropriate.  At this time, no society has a fixed agenda or concrete plans; just that we should all start talking. ECCAI is expected to play a key role in these discussions.



Our electronic journal, ETAI, continues to thrive under the leadership of Erik Sandewall and is one of the pioneers in the area of electronic journals and rapid publishing.


ACAI 2001

Held in Prague this week and next, the event seems to be a great success.



Plans are well underway for this, the major AI event in Europe every two years. The PAIS applications conference will be continue under Boi Faltings and special innovations to increase Eastern European  participation, such as pre-reviewing of papers has been started by Frank van Harmelen. Alain Mille has made good progress leading the local organising committee and in raising initial sponsorship.



ECCAI will have a stand at IJCAI-01 to promote ECCAI and ECAI-2002. IOS Press will also participate to promote the ECAI conference proceedings. This is a great chance for the member societies to promote their activities and events to the world AI community.



Rob Milne

ECCAI President