Conference report: ICLP 2013

Esra Erdem,  Sabanci University
Evelina Lamma, University of Ferrara
Joohyung Lee, Arizona State University
Terrance Swift,  CENTRIA, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

The 29th International Conference on Logic Programming (ICLP) was held August 27-30 in Istanbul, Turkey. Preceding ICLP, the ALP Doctoral Consortium and various workshops were held on August 25 and 26.


New Publication Format for ICLP Papers

The publication format for the 2013 ICLP differs from that of previous ICLPs in a way that may be of interest to readers of this newsletter. As was begun in the 2010 ICLP, the 27 accepted regular papers were published as a special issue of Theory and Practice of Logic Programming (TPLP). However, in order to increase the number of accepted papers, the length of papers was reduced from 15 pages plus bibliography to 12 pages plus bibliography. To help balance the reduction in length, a more concise latex style was introduced by Cambridge University Press. In addition, papers were allowed to have an on-line appendix of any size.

The format changed for technical communications as well. This year, for the first time the 26 technical communications were published in an on-line supplement to the TPLP special issue editorial, as were Doctoral Consortium papers. After papers were accepted as technical communications, authors were allowed a choice of how much of their paper they wanted to publish as a technical communication. Authors could publish the whole paper, the abstract for the paper, or anything in between. The reason behind this was to allow authors who wanted to resubmit to other conferences the ability to do so, and similarly allow other authors to publish their entire paper as a technical communication.

The change of format was discussed at the ALP general meeting on Monday, August 26. While any publication format has advantages and disadvantages, and other formats had their adherents (e.g., publication of all papers in the Springer series), the consensus was that the new model seemed to work and it will be continued next year.


Technical Program

We believe that the new format helped create a strong program for this year’s ICLP, together with a strong set of invited talks that were nominated and chosen by the program committee. Each day of the conference was begun by an invited talk, which were:

  • Pascal Hitzler: Recent advances concerning OWL and Rules;
  • Torsten Schaub: Experiencing Answer Set Programming at Work, Today and Tomorrow;
  • Hans von Ditmarsch: Dynamic Epistemic Logic and Lying; and
  • C.R. Ramakrishnan: Probabilistic Tabled Logic Programming with Application to Model Checking.

As in ICLP 2012, a “Test of Time” award was given for the most influential papers from the ICLP and ILPS conferences of 10 and 20 years ago (ILPS was another major meeting in logic programming, organized until 1998). As this tradition was begun in 2012, we were able to follow the procedure initiated by last year’s program committee co-chairs. This procedure uses bibliometric information as a first stage, and if necessary, personal judgement as a second stage. Fortunately according to our bibliometrics there was a clear winner in each year, so that personal judgement did not have to take a part. The most influential paper from 1993 was from the ICLP conference:

  • Anthony Bonner and Michael Kifer Transaction Logic Programming

which was presented in this year’s conference by Michael Kifer. In 2003 the most influential paper was:

  • Thomas Eiter and Michael Fink Uniform equivalence of logic programs under the stable model semanticsSpringer, 2003. ISBN 3-540-20642-6.

presented by Michael Fink.

It should be noted that there were an impressive number of ICLP and ILPS papers published in 1993 and 2013 that today have a high citation count, and that have proven to be influential in the field. Runners up for 1993 were: Daniel Diaz and Philippe Codognet: A Minimal Extension of the WAM for clp(FD); Javier Pinto and Raymond Reiter: Temporal Reasoning in Logic Programming: A Case for the Situation Calculus; and Michael Codish and Bart Demoen: Analysing Logic Programs Using ‘Prop’-ositional Logic Programs and a Magic Wand. Runners up for 2003 were Joohyung Lee and Vladimir Lifschitz: Loop Formulas for Disjunctive Logic Programs; Thomas Eiter, Michael Fink, Gianluigi Greco and Domenico Lembo: Efficient Evaluation of Logic Programs for Querying Data Integration Systems; and Jan Wielemaker Native Preemptive Threads in SWI-Prolog.

The ICLP conference also included the 8th Doctoral Consortium in which 13 Ph.D. students (many of whom are co-authors of papers in this conference) presented their thesis work. The organizers of the Doctoral Consortium arranged for students who didn’t know each other to share hotel rooms, fostering new relations among these young researchers. The attendees of the Doctoral Consortium chose one paper for a “best presentation” award. The paper, Argumentation for Answer Set Programming and other Non-monotonic Reasoning Systems by Claudia Schultz was presented in the main conference on August 29.

Finally, there were several well-attended workshops that took place immediately prior to the main conference. These were the the 6th Workshop on Answer Set Programming and Other Computing Paradigms (ASPOCP), the 13th International Colloquium on Implementation of Constraint and LOgic Programming Systems CICLOPS, the 23rd Workshop on Logic-based methods in Programming Environments (WLPE), the 1st Workshop on Knowledge Representation and Reasoning in Robotics, and the annual meeting of WG 17, the international standardization working group for Prolog.

… And Other Activities

Of course, conferences are not just about papers and presentations. Thanks to the many people who helped them, the 101 conference participants were able to see the beautiful and historic city of Istanbul. Those who stayed in the conference hotel had their choice of breakfast tables with a view of the Sea of Marmara or the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Other parts of Istanbul were on display during the social highlight of the conference: a dinner cruise up the Bosphorus on August 29. Pictures of the conference are available in the following photo album, compiled by Joohyung Lee:

We wish the best to the organizers of ICLP 2014, and hope that next year’s conference will be as memorable as this year’s was.