[robotics-worldwide] [meetings] Call for Papers IROS18 Workshop: Semantic Policy and Action Representations for Autonomous Robots (SPAR)

Eren Erdal Aksoy aksoyeren at gmail.com
Wed Jul 11 01:25:19 PDT 2018

*3rd Workshop on Semantic Policy and Action Representations for Autonomous
Robots (SPAR)*

October 5, 2018 - IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots
and Systems - Madrid, Spain

*Call for Papers*

We are calling for contributions to our IROS 2018 workshop. We would like
to invite the attendees of this workshop to submit an extended abstract
explaining their current work or developed systems on the areas of
reasoning, perception, control, planning, and learning applied to robotic

This workshop is intended for roboticists interested in improving the
reliability and autonomy of robots. We hope to bring together outstanding
researchers and graduate students to discuss current trends, problems, and
opportunities in semantic action (policy) representations, encouraging
and common practices such as sharing data-sets among scientists in this

*Workshop URL*


Contact email:  spar.workshop at gmail.com

*Call for contributions*

We encourage 1-2 pages extended abstract of relevant work that has been
previously published, or is to be presented at the main conference. The
accepted abstracts will be posted on the workshop website in a compiled
yearbook and will not appear in the official IEEE proceedings. Furthermore,
we particularly call for live demonstrations to be presented on the
workshop day. We encourage researchers as well as companies (both hardware
and software companies) to contribute to the workshop. The reviewing is
single blind, and will be carried out by the workshop chairs.

Please submit your abstract to the workshop official email address
spar.workshop at gmail.com before* August 03, 2018.*

The accepted  demonstrations can show their systems and its benefits to a
broader audience. The accepted papers will have the opportunity to present
their work/ideas in a poster session. Two selective submissions will give a
15 min talk at the workshop. Please indicate in your email if you want to
present as a poster, oral, and/or live demonstration.

*Important Dates*

Paper submission deadline: *August 03, 2018*

Notification of acceptance: September 14, 2018

Camera ready submission: September 21, 2018

Workshop day: October 05, 2018

*Workshop objectives*

It has been a long-standing question whether robots can reach human level
of intelligence that understands the essence of observed actions and
imitates them even under different circumstances. Contemporary research in
robotics and machine learning has attempted to solve this question from two
different perspectives: One in a bottom-up manner by, for instance, solely
relying on perceived continuous sensory data, whereas the other by
approaching rather from the symbolic level in a top-down fashion. Although
there have been shown encouraging results in both flows, understanding and
imitation of actions have yet to be fully solved.

Action semantics stands as potential glue for bridging the gap between a
symbolic action representation and its corresponding continuous signal
level description. Semantic representation provides a tool for capturing
the essence of an action by revealing the inherent characteristics. Thus,
semantic features help robots to understand, learn, and generate policies
to imitate actions even in various styles with different objects. Thus,
more descriptive semantics yields robots with greater capability and
autonomy. In this full-day workshop, we aim at answering two major

1) What have we learned from action semantics? In recent years, there has
been a substantial contribution in semantic policy and action
representation in the fields of robotics, computer vision, and machine
learning. In this respect, we would like to invite experts in academia and
motivate them to comment on the recent advances in semantic reasoning by
addressing the problem of linking continuous sensory experiences and
symbolic constructions to couple perception and execution of actions. This
is of fundamental importance to ease the symbol grounding problem in

2) How much of semantic policy and action representation have been
transferred from controlled lab setups to industrial environments? We would
like to invite researchers from industry and initiate a discussion between
academic and industrial communities. Such a provocative discussion
catalyzes the interaction between the two communities by addressing the
scalability and generalization problems which still remain unsolved. In
this respect, we would like to discuss how to transfer our current
knowledge and experience about semantic policies to new domains, for
instance, industrial assembly tasks, with very little human intervention.

This workshop focuses on new technologies that allow robots to learn
generic semantic models for different tasks. In this workshop, we will
bring together researchers from diverse fields, including robotics,
computer vision, and machine learning in order to overview the most recent
scientific achievements and the next break-through topics, and also to
propose new directions in the field.

This workshop is intended for roboticists from both scientific and
industrial communities working in the areas of perception, control,
planning, and learning. It is especially aimed at roboticists interested in
improving the reliability and autonomy of robots. We hope to bring together
outstanding researchers and graduate students to discuss current trends,
problems, and opportunities in semantic action (policy) representations,
encouraging communication and common practices among scientists and
industrial researchers in this field.

The topics that are indicative but by no means exhaustive are as follows:

● AI-Based Methods

o Learning and adaptive systems

o Probability and statistical methods

o Action grammars/libraries

o Machine learning techniques for semantic representations

o Spatiotemporal event encoding

● Reasoning Methods in Robotics and Automation

o Signal to symbol transition (Symbol grounding/Object anchoring)

o Different levels of abstraction

o Semantics of manipulation actions

o Semantic policy representation

o Context modeling methods

o Concept formulation

● Human Behavior Recognition

o Learning from demonstration

o Object-action relations

o Bottom-up and top-down perception

● Task, Geometric, and Dynamic Level Plans and Policies

o PDDL high-level planning

o Task and motion planning methods

● Human-Robot Interaction

o Prediction of human intentions

o Linking linguistic and visual data

Invited Speakers (in alphabetical order, all confirmed)

·         Anelia Angelova, Google Brain

·         David Hogg, University of Leeds

·         Elin Anna Topp, Lund University

·         Giorgio Metta, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

·         Hao Ding, ABB

·         Yu Sun, University of South Florida


·         Eren Erdal Aksoy, Halmstad University, Sweden, eren.aksoy at hh.se

·         Yezhou Yang, Arizona State University, USA, yz.yang at asu.edu

·         Karinne Ramirez-Amaro, Technical University of Munich, Germany,
karinne.ramirez at tum.de

·         Neil T. Dantam, Colorado School of Mines, USA,  ndantam at mines.edu

·         Gordon Cheng, Technical University of Munich, Germany,
gordon at tum.de

Best wishes,

On behalf of the organizers,

Eren Erdal Aksoy

Eren Erdal Aksoy
Assistant Professor
Halmstad University (HH)
School of Information Technology (ITE)
Center for Applied Intelligent Systems Research (CAISR)

Visiting Scholar
Volvo Group Trucks Technology
Environment Perception, Vehicle Automation

P O Box 823, Room E526
SE-301 18 Halmstad, Sweden

Office: +46 35-1671 21
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E-Mail: eren.aksoy at hh.se
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