(covering the period from August 1995 to August 1996)


Since August 1995 we have had only 11 submissions of which 3 have been accepted, 4 have been definitely rejected, 2 are under revision and 2 are being modified by the authors according to the reviewer's suggestions. In order to keep AICom going I had to look for alternative sources of good papers. Concretely, the March 1996 issue included 3 papers on Machine Learning that had been written as part of an state-of-the-art report of MLnet (the european Network of Excellence in Machine Learning), the June 96 issue is a special issue on the Swiss Priority Programme in Informatics Research containing 6 papers describing concrete results of projects within this Swiss Programme. The September 1996 issue will contain revised english versions of 4 papers on case-based reasoning that had appeared in german in the KI Magazine, it will also contain the paper that got the best application award in the last British Computer Society Expert Systems Conference. Concerning the December issue, I expect that at least 2 of the papers that are now under revision or modification will be eventually accepted.


After my letter of February 1st to all the national societies asking the editors in charge of the Newsletters to cooperate with AICom, I got many positive answers and I am now regularly receiving a copy of: the french AFIA Bulletin, the german KI magazine, the nordic NAIM magazine, the finnish bulletin and the journal Informatica from Slovenia. As a result of examining this material, the september issue of AICom will publish the revised english version of the 4 case-based reasoning papers published in german in the KI magazine mentioned above.


In spite of the e-mails sent to AAAI (Mrs. Mckenna) and of sending another letter to Dr. Shirai, I did not receive any answer so I consider that they are not interested in establishing any kind of collaboration.


During this period, and following the recommendations of the ECCAI Board, we have appointed 6 "Area Editors" whose responsibility is to obtain at least 1 good paper per year in their respective area. As far as I know, almost all of them have contacted quite some time ago potential authors but until now I did not yet receive any paper.


The number of submissions has been again extremely low and for this reason I had to spend again an unusual amount of time and energy to obtain good papers from alternative sources and the situation does not seem to improve. Therefore I basically agree with the ECCAI Board report and recommendation of ceasing to publish AICom in its current paper form and publish an ECCAI Newsletter and a new scientific journal both in electronic format.

For some reason that I do not understand, AICom is still perceived by many as a sort of Newsletter or, at best, a mediocre quality magazine in spite of the fact that when I talk to people in meetings and conferences they all say that the quality is now good but... these same people do not submit papers to AICom because they prefer to submit them to other journals in spite of the fact that AICom is now included in the "Current Contents" of the SCI. So I am sort of puzzled by this situation. Probably the only effective way of changing this situation is to drastically "cut with the past" and this is why I support the ECCAI Board recommendation.

I want also to make clear that after 4 years of having been in charge of AICom the time has come for me to step out and leave the place for new and better ideas. Therefore the december issue will be the last one under my responsibility independently of the continuation or not of AICom. I urge the ECCAI Board and Assembly to appoint someone else starting in 1997 whether to continue with AICom or to start a new scientific journal.

Finally, I want to thank both the ECCAI Board and the General Assembly for the support that I have received along the past 4 years and I apologize for not having been able to attend this meeting.

Ramon Lopez de Mantaras

Last updated 1996-02-04.