AAAI Spring Symposium Series, March 26-28 2007, Stanford University, California

8th International Symposium on Logical Formalizations of Commonsense Reasoning

A special event in honor of John McCarthy

We invite submissions for presentation at Commonsense'07, the 8th International Symposium on Logical Formalizations of Commonsense Reasoning, to be held as part of the AAAI Spring Symposium Series, March 26-28 2007, at Stanford University, California, USA.

One of the major long-term goals of AI is to endow computers with common sense. Although we know how to build programs that excel at certain bounded or mechanical tasks which humans find difficult, such as playing chess, we have very little idea how to program computers to do well at commonsense tasks which are easy for humans. One approach to this problem is to formalize commonsense reasoning using mathematical logic.

The challenges to creating such a formalization include the accumulation of large amounts of knowledge about our everday world, the representation of this knowledge in suitable formal languages, the integration of different representations in a coherent way, and the development of explicit reasoning methods that use these representations. The scaling problem is a particular challenge: Many bounded tasks which we already know how to build still cannot scale to broad scenarios involving commonsense knowledge, such as query answering and web service compositon on the semantic web, corpora-based computational biology, diagnosis, exploration of unfamiliar domains by robots and autonomous vehicles, and natural-language question answering.

We aim at a science of commonsense reasoning that enables applications in such broad domains as well as a deeper understanding of the ways in which humans engage in commonsense reasoning. This is the focus of Commonsense'07. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • change, action, and causality
  • ontologies, including space, time, shape, and matter, and ontologies of networks and structures
  • levels of granularity of ontology and reasoning
  • large commonsense knowledge bases (including work related to Halo, and the HPKB (High Performance Knowledge Bases) and RKF (Rapid Knowledge Formation) projects)
  • axiomatizations of benchmark commonsense problems (see the Logic Modelling Workshop and the Common Sense Problem Page for examples)
  • exploration of new commmonsense domains in a preformal way: e.g., discussion of new microworlds, benchmark problems, or "drosophilae"
  • nonmonotonic reasoning
  • formal models of probabilistic reasoning
  • formal theories of context
  • mental attitudes including knowledge, belief, intention, and planning
  • belief change, update, and revision
  • cognitive robotics
  • reasoning about multi-agent systems and social interactions among agents
  • aspects of commonsense reasoning applicable to the Semantic Web
  • applications of formal representations to applications, such as natural language processing
  • other mathematical tools for capturing commonsense reasoning

The symposium aims to bring together researchers who have studied the formalization of commonsense reasoning. The focus of the symposium is on representation rather than on algorithms, and on formal rather than informal methods. We aim for rigorous and concrete paper submissions. While mathematical logic is expected to be the primary lingua franca of the symposium, we also welcome papers using a rigorous but not logic-based representation of commonsense domains. Technical papers offering new results in the area are especially welcome; object-level theories as opposed to meta-level results are preferred. However, survey papers, papers studying the relationship between different approaches, and papers on methodological issues such as theory evaluation, are also encouraged.

John McCarthy

We are pleased to be able to hold this symposium as a special event in honor of John McCarthy's 80th year. John McCarthy is, of course, the father of formal commonsense reasoning, and submissions which celebrate his immense contribution to the field are especially welcome.

Submission Information

Papers or extended abstracts of no more than 6 pages (in AAAI format) should be submitted as email attachments to (PDF format) by October 27, 2006. All submissions will be reviewed by the program committee listed at, and notification of acceptance will be given by November 24, 2006.


The working notes of Commonsense'07 will include all accepted papers and will be part of the AAAI Technical Report series. This allows AAAI to distribute the volume after the symposium, and the work can be cited.

Multiple Submissions Allowed

Papers may be submitted to Commonsense'07 even if they have been submitted to other conferences or symposia (such as IJCAI). However, previously published papers are not acceptable for Commonsense'07.


Persons wishing to attend the symposium should submit a 1-2 page research summary including if possible a list of relevant publications. This is not required for the authors of submitted papers. Moreover PhD students need only to send the tentative title and abstract of their dissertation. All requests for attendance should be sent to

Summary of Important Dates

  • Paper or extended abstract submission deadline: October 27, 2006
  • Notification of acceptance: December 14, 2006
  • Camera ready papers due: January 26, 2007
  • Symposium: March 26-28, 2007

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