The 25th International FLAIRS Conference
Silver Anniversary
May 23-25, 2012
Marco Island, Florida, USA

The 25th Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference (FLAIRS-25) will be held May 23-25, 2012 at The Marco Island Hilton. In this silver anniversary for FLAIRS, we will proudly continue our tradition of presenting and discussing artificial intelligence research in a friendly atmosphere within a beautiful setting. Events will include invited speakers, special tracks, discussion panels, presentations of papers and posters, and will introduce a brand new session for impromptu presentations (stay tuned for that). As always, there will be a Best Paper award and a Best Poster award. In addition, because FLAIRS has a rich tradition of encouraging student authors, there will also be a Best Student Paper award for the best paper written primarily by students.

The Marco Island Hilton Beach Resort and Spa hotel is situated on the beautiful Marco Island beach on the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast. Every room has a balcony and at least a partial gulf view. Marco Island is next door to the Florida Everglades National Park and some of Southwest Florida's best shopping, dining and recreational activities. FLAIRS will have exclusive use of the 12000 square feet of conference facilities and access to the hotel's various amenities including Sandcastle's lounge, pool, hot tub, and exercise room. Various pubs, restaurants, shops, and a movie theater can be found across the street.

Latest News

  • (5/22) Online registration is again active for at-the-door registrations.
  • (5/19) All confirmation emails for shuttles have gone out. If you signed up for a shuttle but did not receive an email, please contact us as soon as possible. Also, the email included a request for your cell phone number (the driver will call you before leaving if you are behind). Please send that if you can by replying to the email from Jeanni.
  • (5/17) If you signed up for a shuttle you should expect your confirmation either later today (Thursday) or tomorrow. Please check here for notification that all confirmations have gone out (and then contact us if you haven't received yours).
  • (5/17) Online registration for FLAIRS-25 is now closed. If you would like to attend, please send us a courtesy email to let us know and register at the door.
  • (5/15) The deadline for shuttle registration to/from RSW has passed. The regular conference registration deadline is Wed May 16 - after that, registration at the door will be the only option.
  • (5/10) After some scrambling to fit everything in, we have a program!. You can also just get the grid (part of the full program). A copy will be provided at check-in, so you don't need to print it out.

News archive

  • (4/23) We have finalized details regarding shuttle service to/from Ft. Myers airport (RSW). Round-trip tickets are $60 while one-way tickets cost $35. To sign up, click on the "online registration" page to the left, scroll down, read the details, then fill out the form and pay via google checkout. The deadline is May 14 so that we can reserve the appropriate number of shuttles.
  • (4/17) The deadline for room sharing requests from student attendees is Wednesday, April 25.
  • (4/17) The conference schedule will be posted in a few days. As of right now, the last paper session will end at noon on Friday 5/25 (lunch and the business meeting will immediately follow).
  • (4/16) Note to all attendees: the weekend after FLAIRS is Memorial Day weekend, and so the hotel's regular rates will be in effect. If you are staying for the weekend, we suggest contacting the hotel directly.
  • (4/12) Tell all your friends! We are happy to announce that FLAIRS-26 will be held at ...
  • (4/7) The online registration deadline for FLAIRS-25 is May 16 ($475).
  • (4/7) Additional information is now available about getting to the conference site (please see the "Accommodation, Location, Travel" link to the left). Ft. Myers (RSW) is the closest airport and we will have information soon on reduced shuttle costs to/from the airport. (note: a taxi is estimated at $60-70 each way).
  • Our special track invited speakers will be Dr. Neil Heffernen (ITS) and Dr. Philip McCarthy (ANLP). More information is available on the invited speaker page.
  • Conference speakers bios and abstracts are now available (follow the "invited speakers" link to the left).
  • You can now view a list of accepted papers and posters. The program will be available within the next few weeks.
  • FLAIRS-25 registration is now open - see "Registration Details" and "Online Registration" in the menu. The registration deadline for authors is March 1 and for everyone else, the early registration deadline is April 6.
  • It is now possible to book your rooms (follow the Accommodation link to the left). Rooms start at $129/night.
  • All paper notifications have gone out - Congratulations to authors of accepted papers! The camera ready deadline is February 20. A list of all accepted papers will be posted at that time.
  • Our plenary speakers will be Danielle McNamara (Arizona State), Bill Swartout (USC Institute for Creative Technologies), and Kanna Rajan (Monteray Bay Aquarium Research Institute).
  • The main track program committee has been posted. For special track PCs, please find their local web pages.
  • The special tracks have been finalized - just follow the "Special Tracks" on the left for a complete list and links to the ST home pages.
  • Main track papers are due on November 21, 2011. (individual special tracks may differ slightly)
  • The FLAIRS-25 Call for Papers, Call for Special Tracks, and Special Track Submission Template are now available.
  • Special track proposals are due on Monday June 20.

Instructions for Paper Presenters

Each paper presentation room will have an an LCD projector and a laptop running Windows, with PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat Reader installed. Presenters may use the laptop provided or they may use their own laptop. Presenters who use a conference laptop must bring their presentation in electronic form on either a USB drive or a CDROM.

Presenters should arrive at their session early, introduce themselves to the session chair, and verify that their presentation displays correctly. Each presentation is scheduled for 25 minutes, with 20 minutes for speaking and 5 minutes for questions. Session chairs will monitor the time and keep the sessions strictly on schedule.

The following link provides guidance on giving a presentation:

Instructions for Poster Presenters

The Poster Session is usually held in the morning of the first day of the conference.

Please follow these instructions for preparing your posters.

  • Time and poster session location are TBD.
  • Please note that FLAIRS personnel will check in periodically, but will not be present in this space continuously during setup times. If issues arise, please contact FLAIRS staff at the registration desk, or leave a message with hotel staff to the attention of FLAIRS personnel.
  • Each poster presenter will be provided with a poster board, 4 feet wide by 3 feet high - just like this. Clips will be available to attach your poster to the board prior to the poster session. If you have any needs beyond this, please email the conference General Chair.
  • Poster presenters are expected to have their posters displayed by the beginning of the session and to be available to discuss their poster for the duration of the session.

After the Poster Session

  • If you want to keep your poster, you must take it with you, either at the end of the poster session or before the end of the conference. You cannot take the poster boards with you.

The following links provide guidance on preparing a poster:

Proposals for special tracks: June 20, 2011
Acceptance of special tracks: July 18, 2011
Submission of papers: November 21, 2011
Notification of acceptance: January 20, 2012
Camera-ready versions due: February 20, 2012
Last day to get special hotel rate: April 23, 2012
FLAIRS-25 conference held: May 23-25, 2012
Call for Papers (PDF version)
General Conference

Submission of papers and posters for presentation at the conference is now invited. Topics of interest are in all areas of artificial intelligence, including, but not limited to:

  • Knowledge representation
  • Cognitive modeling
  • Perception
  • Reasoning and programming
  • Search
  • Learning
  • Aviation and aerospace
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Medicine
  • Management and manufacturing
  • World Wide Web
  • Agents and distributed AI
  • Intelligent user interfaces
  • Natural language systems
  • Information retrieval
  • Robotics
  • Philosophical foundations
  • Social impact and ethics
  • Evaluation of AI systems
  • Teaching AI
Special Tracks (PDF version)

A number of special tracks that focus on particular topics within AI are held in parallel with the general conference. Authors are requested to consider submitting their paper directly to a special track if one exists that closely matches the topic of their paper. A list of all special tracks will be available on the conference site once the tracks are determined. Special tracks are typically proposed and selected by late summer. If you are interested in proposing a special track, please see the Call for Special Tracks or contact the Special Tracks coordinator. Once the special tracks have been finalized, for additional details on a special track authors should contact the track chair(s) directly.

Submission Instructions

Submitted papers must be original, and not submitted concurrently to a journal or another conference. Double-blind reviewing will be provided, so submitted papers must use fake author names and affiliations. Papers must use the latest AAAI Press Word template or LaTeX macro package, and must be submitted as PDF through the EasyChair conference system. (N.B. Do not use a fake name for your EasyChair login; your EasyChair account information is hidden from reviewers.)

Papers and Abstracts
This year, there are three kinds of submissions: full papers (up to 6 pages), short papers (up to 4 pages), and poster abstracts (up to 250 words). Acceptance as a full paper entails a 20 minute presentation during a regular session, while short papers and abstracts will be required to participate in the poster session. Rejected full papers may still be accepted as short papers or poster abstracts. All posters will be presented according to space and time availability. Authors may submit up to two full papers as first author, and a maximum of one poster as full author (whether short paper or poster abstract). Author names may be changed or re-ordered after reviewing; however, for budgeting reasons, registration fees will be based on the details at the time of submission and review.

Tutorials and Workshops
Tutorials allow conference goers to gain new insights, knowledge, and skills from a broad range of topics in the field of AI. Submissions for tutorials must cover a well-established and recognized topic in AI, and should be delivered by someone with considerable expertise and experience. Tutorials should be presented at a level that will make the material accessible to a postgraduate student with a first degree in a field related to AI. We strongly encourage an interactive delivery format for tutorials. Tutorial should be designed for sessions of 75 minutes or 100 minutes; (longer sessions can be arranged if sufficient notice is given).

Workshops give an opportunity for in-depth discussion on a specific topic relevant to the field of AI. Workshops can concentrate on emerging research or cross-disciplinary topics; they can also focus on application issues and research methods. Workshop organizers are responsible for all materials and for selecting and inviting any additional speakers. Workshops should be designed for sessions of 75 minutes or 100 minutes; (longer sessions can be arranged if notice warning is given).


The proceedings of FLAIRS-25 will be published by the AAAI. Authors of accepted papers will be required to sign a form transferring copyright of their contribution to AAAI. Authors are expected to make a reasonable effort to address reviewers’ comments prior to the submission of the camera ready paper. Where such expectations have been flouted, actions may be taken to preserve the quality of the conference and the expectations of conference goers. An author of each accepted paper is required to register, attend, and present the paper at FLAIRS. It is a requirement of FLAIRS that there will be at least one early regular author registration per paper.


Submission of papers: November 21, 2011
Notification of acceptance: January 20, 2012
Camera-ready versions due: February 20, 2012
FLAIRS-25 conference held: May 23-25, 2012

Special Tracks
Special Tracks Listing

  1. Case-based Reasoning (CBR), Michael Floyd and Antonio Sanchez
  2. Affective Computing (AC), Sidney D'Mello and Rafael Calvo
  3. Artificial Intelligence Education (AIED), Todd Neller and Jim Marshall
  4. Intelligence Tutoring System (ITS), Bob Hausmann and G. Tanner Jackson
  5. Uncertain Reasoning (UR), Cory Butz and Cristoph Beierle.
  6. AI, Cognitive Semantics, Computational Linguistic and Logic (AICogSem), Ismail Biskri, Adel Jebali, Florence Le Priol, and Anca Pascu
  7. Data Mining (DM), David Bisant and Bill Eberle
  8. Game & Entertainment (GE), Fritz Heckel and D. Hunter Hale
  9. Applied Natural Language Processing, Mihai Lintean and Chutima Boonthum-Denecke
  10. Cognition and AI: Comparing Human Capability and Experience with Today's Computer Models (CogAI), Nik Nailah Binti Abdullah and Bill Clancey
  11. Robotics and Human-Robot Interaction (Robotics), Chutima Boonthum-Denecke, Rebecca Caldwell

Call for Special Tracks (PDF version)

Special tracks, held in parallel with the general conference, are an integral part of the conference. They provide researchers in focused areas the opportunity to meet and present their work, and offer a forum for interaction among the broader community of artificial intelligence researchers. Special track papers are required to meet the same standards as papers in the general conference and are published in the same conference proceedings.

Topics of interest are in all areas of artificial intelligence. In 2010, special tracks included AI Education; AI, Cognitive Semantics and Computational Linguistics: New Perspectives; Applied Natural Language Processing; Case-Based Reasoning; Cognition and AI: Capturing Cognitive Plausibility and Informing Psychological Processes; Data Mining; Games and Entertainment; Intelligent Tutoring Systems; and Uncertain Reasoning.

Submission of proposals for special tracks is now invited. Proposals must be submitted to the EasyChair conference system. Special track chairs may submit papers to their own tracks. Those papers will be reviewed by two members of the special track's program committee and two members of the general conference program committee, and acceptance decisions will be made by the conference program co-chairs. Chairs of special tracks will work closely with the Special Track's coordinator, and are expected to respond promptly and communicate regularly in order to maximize the potential impact of the track. Proposals must be made using the special track template. Please include the following information in all proposals:

  1. Title of the special track.
  2. Anticipated numbers of submissions and accepted papers. A track may have up to 4 sessions, with 3 papers per session. Special tracks that fail to attract sufficient papers will be merged into the general conference or suitable alternative track.
  3. Names and contact information for the special track chair(s) and those who have so far agreed to serve on the special track's program committee. The program committee should be large enough for each paper to have 4 reviews.
  4. Promotional plans and materials, including a draft call for papers, specific plans for publicizing the special track (including possible conference/CFP announcement websites), and the names of any speakers you are considering inviting. (FLAIRS cannot offer any form of financial support for special track invited speakers at this stage.)
  5. Summary of any special tracks you have organized for FLAIRS over the last two years: special track title(s), year(s), number of submissions (full paper and poster), and number of acceptances (full paper and poster).


Proposals for special tracks: June 20, 2011
Notification of acceptance of special tracks: July 18, 2011

Organizers and Program Committee
Conference Chair: H. Chad Lane, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA
Program Co-Chairs: G. Michael Youngblood, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA
Philip McCarthy, University of Memphis, USA
Special Tracks Chair: Chutima Boonthum, Hampton University, USA
Program Committee: (main track)
David Aha, Naval Research Laboratory
Motasem Alrahabi, Université Paris Sorbonne
Leopoldo Altamirano, Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica
Tiffany Barnes, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Roman Barták, Charles University
Ralph Bergmann, Universität Trier
Ateet Bhalla, NRI Institute of Information Science and Technology
Mehul Bhatt, University of Bremen
Ismail Biskri, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
Debra Burhans, Canisius College
John Champaign, University of Waterloo
Maher Chaouachi, University of Montreal
Soon Ae Chun, City University of New York
Vincent Cicirello, Richard Stockton College
Bill Clancey, NASA/Ames Research Center
Diane Cook, Washington State University
Jens Dalgaard Nielsen, Instituto de Investigación en Informática de Albacete
Douglas Dankel, University of Florida
Belen Diaz-Agudo, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Paula Durlach, U.S. Army Research Institute
William Eberle,Tennessee Technological University
Philippe Fournier-Viger, University of Moncton
Susan Fox, Macalester College
Reva Freedman, Northern Illinois University
Boris Galitsky, University of Girona
James Geller, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Kevin Gold, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Jesus A. Gonzalez, National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics, and Electronics
Tarek Hamrouni, Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia
Catherine Havasi, MIT Media Lab
Christian F. Hempelmann, Purdue University
Larry Holder, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Adel Jebali, University Concordia
Imène Jraidi, University of Montreal
Joseph Kendall-Morwick,DePauw University
Taghi Khoshgoftaar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ziad Kobti, University of Windsor
Amruth Kumar, Ramapo College of New Jersey
Othalia Larue, GDAC Research laboratory
Nguyen-Thinh Le, University of Hamburg
Florian Lemmerich, University of Würzburg
Tao Li, Florida International University
Ramon Lopez De Mantaras, Spanish National Research Council
Jeremy Ludwig, Stottler Henke Associates, Inc.
Zdravko Markov, Central Connecticut State University
Noboru Matsuda, Carnegie Mellon University
Takunari Miyazaki, Trinity College
Andrew Neel, University of Memphis
Hien Nguyen, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Michael O'Mahony, University College Dublin
Barry O'Sullivan, University College Cork
Paolo Petta, Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Wuillemin Pierre-Henri, Laboratoire d'Informatique de Paris 6
Aliva Pradhan, Montclair State University
B Ravindran, Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Crystal Redman, Colorado State University
Carolina Reta, National Institute for Astrophysics, Optics, and Electronics
Kirk Roberts,University of Texas at Dallas
Hana Rudová, Masaryk University
Vasile Rus, The University of Memphis
Ingrid Russell, University of Hartford
Stephan Schulz, Technische Universität München
Oussema Sellmi, Institut supérieur de gestion de Tunis
Khaled Shaalan, Cairo University
Fahad Shah, University of Central Florida
Dan Simovici,University of Massachusetts Boston
Brian Stensrud,Soar Technology, Inc.
David Stracuzzi, Arizona State University
Gita Sukthankar, University of Central Florida
Doug Talbert, Tennessee Technological University
Dan Tamir, Texas State University
Matthias Thimm, Technische Universität Dortmund
Rosina Weber, Drexel University
Wayne Wobcke, University of New South Wales
Dan Wu, University of Windsor
Yang Xiang, University of Guelph
Conference Invited Speakers

Conference invited speakers will address the entire FLAIRS audience in plenary sessions.

Bill Swartout
Director of Technology and Research Professor
USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT).

Virtual Humans: A New Metaphor for Interacting with Computers
Introduced by Alan Kay at XEROW PARC in the 1970's, the "desktop metaphor", which was later adopted in the Macintosh and Windows operating systems, has become the primary way we think about interacting with computers. Over the last decade, we have been developing sophisticated virtual humans at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. These computer generated characters are autonomous, exhibit emotions and interact with people using both verbal and non-verbal communication. Based on that work, we believe that a new metaphor is emerging for human computer interaction that is centered around these virtual humans. In this metaphor, interacting with a computer becomes much like interacting with another person. Significantly, this new metaphor adds social elements to the interaction that are lacking in other interaction metaphors. These social elements can be used to create rapport with users, show empathy, and give encouragement. In this talk, I will discuss this metaphor, show several systems we have built that adopt it, and highlight how the social elements that virtual humans bring have significantly enhanced these applications.


William Swartout has been involved in the research and development of artificial intelligence systems for over 30 years. He is the director of technology at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies and a research professor in the computer science department at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. His particular research interests include virtual humans, explanation and text generation, knowledge acquisition, knowledge representation, intelligent computer based education and the development of new AI architectures. In 2009, Swartout received the Robert Engelmore Award from the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence for seminal contributions to knowledge-based systems and explanation, groundbreaking research on virtual human technologies and their applications, and outstanding service to the artificial intelligence community. He is a Fellow of the AAAI, has served on their Board of Councilors and is past chair of the Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence (SIGART) of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He has served as a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, the Board on Army Science and Technology of the National Academies and the JFCOM Transformation Advisory Group.

Danielle S. McNamara
Professor of Psychology and Senior Scientist
ASU Learning Sciences Institute

Cognitive Load, Immersive Games, ITS, Gamification: Do Theoretical Blinders Stymie Progress in the World of Instructional Technology?
There is an increasing number of researchers and developers focusing on the development of Instructional Technologies (IT). This increase is a result of both educational needs and an exponential increase in what we can do with technologies, relatively easily and cheaply. One question that an IT designer may ask is: What theoretical perspective should guide the design of my IT?’ Very often, that question (if asked) is answered by a favored perspective or one that is most dominant among the designer’s collaborators. Many theoretical perspectives are seemingly contradictory and can lead a researcher and developer in very different directions. Immersive games often emphasize transformational learning and complete immersion in an alternative world, rarely if ever following Cognitive Load principles. Indeed, immersion in an alternative environment seems to require cognitive load. Intelligent tutoring systems follow principles aligned with skill and knowledge acquisition, but often ignore motivation and emotion during learning. Designers of dynamic mini-games may follow principles associated with gamification, ignoring principles associated with transformational and immersive learning. These camps often operate with disregard to alternative theories. Most importantly, sometimes there is a lack of alignment between the approach and the targeted learning objective. Dr. McNamara will discuss these theoretical principles and their advantages and limitations, providing both examples and counter examples. She argues that researchers developing educational technologies, including educational games, should consider a variety of principles but also the alignment between the design principles and the targeted learning objectives in the particular IT. Often, however, it seems that researchers and designers adopt one approach or theoretical principal over another, with blinders to alternatives. Is this an optimal approach to designing educational technologies or does this stymie our progress in designing effective technologies for education?


Danielle S. McNamara (Ph.D. 1992, University of Colorado, Boulder) joined the ASU Learning Sciences Institute, Department of Psychology, and the School of CIDSE in the fall of 2011. She joined ASU from the University of Memphis where she was Director of the Institute for Intelligent Systems and Professor in the Department of Psychology for 9 years. Her academic background includes a Linguistics B.A. (1982), a Clinical Psychology M.S. (1989), and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology (1992; UC-Boulder). The overarching theme of her research is to better understand cognitive processes involved in comprehension, writing, knowledge acquisition, and memory, and to apply that understanding to educational practice by developing and testing educational technologies (e.g., Coh-Metrix, iSTART, Writing Pal. Two of her projects, The Writing Pal and iSTART, are computer assisted learning programs designed to advance students writing and reading comprehension. Coh-Metrix is a text analysis tool designed to advance our understanding of the nature of text difficulty. She has published over 200 papers and secured over 10 million in federal funding. Her work has been funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the McDonnell Foundation, and the Gates Foundation. She serves as associate editor for three journals, topiCS, the Cognitive Science Journal, and the Journal of Educational Psychology and currently serves on a standing review panel for the National Institute of Health (NIH) as well as numerous review panels for IES, NSF, and NICHD. She has served on the Governing Boards for the Society for Text and Discourse and the Cognitive Science Society.

Kanna Rajan
Principle Researcher for Autonomy
Monteray Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).

Exploring the Deep: Inference-based Robotic Exploration of the Coastal Ocean
Persistent under-sampling of complex coastal ocean processes has resulted in calls for new methods to approach the sampling problem. Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) have been used over the last few years to observe dynamic events such as blooms, anoxic zones and ocean fronts. However they had till recently, been stymied with the use of simple reactive approaches which depended on a priori “plans” which prevented any substantiative adaptation of mission structure to deal with opportunistic science and other unanticipated events. We motivate the use of Artificial Intelligence based Planning/Execution using generative planning techniques in-situ for such robots and highlight the range and diversity of applications which have been impacted to enable novel observations. The talk will explore collaborative scientific missions used within a very inter-disciplinary environment at MBARI and highlight future challenges for this domain in Planning, Data Mining, Mixed-Initiative distributed control and Machine Learning.


Kanna is the Principal Researcher in Autonomy at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute a privately funded non-profit Oceanographic institute funded by the Packard Foundation, which he joined in October 2005. Prior to that he was a Senior Research Scientist for the Autonomous Systems and Robotics Area at NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, California. At NASA he was deeply involved in the flight of the Remote Agent Experiment (first closed-loop AI controller in space and first automated planner in space) and the PI of the MAPGEN command/control system for the twin Mars rovers for the MER mission. At MBARI he heads the only AI group in an operational oceanography setting anywhere. Besides other NASA awards, he is the recipient of two NASA medals; a Public Service medal for his role in the Remote Agent and the Exceptional Service medal for the Mars Exploration Rovers mission. His primary academic interests are in Planning, Plan Execution and agent architectures for robotic platforms.

Special Track Invited Speakers

Special Track invited speakers address issues that are important to the special track in talks to which the entire FLAIRS audience is invited.

Neil T. Heffernen
Associate Professor of Computer Science
Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Educational Data Mining, Bayesian Networks and ASSISTments
Educational Data Mining is concerned with a variety of topics, including modeling student learning. This field has taken off in this decade spurring the creation of a new conference and journal. I will talk about work done modeling the learning process with Bayesian Networks. This work is joint work with my graduating doctoral student, Zach Pardos. Zach has investigated new types of questions like 1) What question and content cause the most learning? 2) what is the right way to sequence content? 3) what are the best ways to predict student performance 4) what are good ways to individualize models to take into account difference in students? We will also talk about the methodological questions about what are the best ways to fit such models and in what cases are fitting procedures like Expectation Maximization likely to be reliable. I will also say a few words about the KDD Cup Challenge that was in this area in 2010 that Zach won a prize in. I will conclude some thoughts about how this work, and work like it is likely to have impact across the nation.


Dr. Neil Heffernan graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College in History and Computer Science. As part of Teach for America, Neil taught mathematics to eighth grade students in Baltimore City. Neil then decided to do something easier and get a PhD computer science. Neil enrolled in Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Science Department to do multi-disciplinary research in cognitive science and computer science to create educational software that leads to higher student achievement. There her built the first intelligent tutoring system that incorporated a model of tutorial dialog. This technology was patented and licensed to Carnegie Learning Inc. Currently, Neil is an associate professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he focuses on creating "cognitive models," computer simulations of student thinking and learning used to design educational technologies. At the heart of his work is the development and use of ASSISTments. ASSISTments is a tool that turns educational research into effective educational practice. Neil works with teachers and WPI graduate students to create the next generation of intelligent tutoring systems that are currently being used by over 10,000 students nation-wide.

Philip M. McCarthy
Assistant Professor, Dept. of English and Institute for Intelligent Systems
University of Memphis.

The Devil is in the Details: New Directions in Deception Analysis
In this study, we use the computational textual analysis tool, the Gramulator, to identify and examine the distinctive linguistic features of deceptive and truthful discourse. The theme of the study is abortion rights and the deceptive texts are derived from a Devil’s Advocate approach, conducted to suppress personal beliefs and values. Our study takes the form of a contrastive corpus analysis, and produces systematic differences between truthful and deceptive personal accounts. Results suggest that deceivers employ a distancing strategy that is often associated with deceptive linguistic behavior. Ultimately, these deceivers struggle to adopt a truth perspective. Perhaps of most importance, our results indicate issues of concern with current deception detection theory and methodology. From a theoretical standpoint, our results question whether deceivers are deceiving at all or whether they are merely poorly expressing a rhetorical position, caused by being forced to speculate on a perceived proto-typical position. From a methodological standpoint, our results cause us to question the validity of deception corpora. Consequently, we propose new rigorous standards so as to better understand the subject matter of the deception field. Finally, we question the prevailing approach of abstract data measurement and call for future assessment to consider contextual lexical features. We conclude by suggesting a prudent approach to future research for fear that our eagerness to analyze and theorize may cause us to misidentify deception. After-all, successful deception, which is the kind we seek to detect, is likely to be an elusive and fickle prey.


Philip M. McCarthy (Ph.D. 2005) is a Discourse Scientist working in Applied Natural Language Processing (ANLP) at The University of Memphis, Tennessee. He is also Director of Linguistics for Decooda Marketing Insights where he is responsible for the branch of research and development on textual analytics. His background includes a Philosophy B.A. (Hons) in 1991 from the University of Greenwich, London, UK, and a Master’s and Ph.D. in linguistics from The University of Memphis. His post doctoral work was conducted at the Institute for Intelligent Systems. He is the co-editor of the two introductory volumes on ANLP: Applied Natural Language Processing: Identification, Investigation and Resolution; and Cross-Disciplinary Advances in Applied Natural Language Processing. The goal of his research is to produce computational tools and investigative approaches that facilitate natural language understanding and assessment. To this end, he has produced numerous measures (such as MTLD and MED, which originally appeared in the Coh-Metrix system) and also full blown systems such as the Gramulator. His particular areas of specialty include lexical diversity, deception, sentiment analysis, contrastive corpus analysis, and machine differential diagnostics. He has over 50 publications and has helped to secure over $2m in federal funding.

FLAIRS-25 Registration

In order to attend and participate in the conference program, you must formally register for the conference. If you need a letter of invitation to obtain a visa, the program co-chairs will send you such a letter upon request once you have registered for the conference.

Author Registration Requirement for Including Accepted Papers in the Program

Each accepted paper or poster must have at least one author registered with a full regular registration. in order for the paper or poster to be included in the conference. If the only author registering for the conference is a student, the registration must be a full regular registration. Additional authors can register as regular or student. If you are the author of more than one paper, you need to register as an author only once.

Registration Categories

  • Authors, please note the registration requirement for paper inclusion by March 1.
  • Early Registration (By April 6)
    • Regular - $450
    • Student - $275 (Students must provide documentation of student status with payment)
  • Standard Registration (By May 16)
    • Regular - $475
    • Student - $300 (Students must provide documentation of student status with payment)
  • On-Site Registration
    • Regular - $500
    • Student - $350 (Students must provide documentation of student status with payment)
  • One-Day Registration (Excludes reception ticket)
    • Regular - $180
    • Student - $100 (Students must provide documentation of student status with payment)
  • Additional Dining Tickets - Full regular/student registration includes all social events. Extra social event tickets (for family, partners, etc.) are available. You can make a separate payment for these if you wish.
    • Extra Lunch Ticket (one day) - $35
    • Extra Opening Reception Ticket - $80

Payment Instructions

Payment can be made via google checkouts (preferred), bank transfer, or check drawn on a US bank. Paying for multiple registrations in a single payment is possible. In all cases you'll receive an email confirming when payment has been processed. If you do not receive an email within two weeks of sending your payment, please email our Conference Administrator at jwgerber(at)earthlink(dot)net.

For Student Registrations, Students must provide proof of student status. Documentation should be provided via email or fax to the FLAIRS-25 Conference Administrator, Jeanni Gerber. (jwgerber(at)earthlink(dot)net.) Documents attached to email should be in PDF format. Please include FLAIRS-25 and a brief description in the subject line. For faxing documentation, please email Jeanni to notify and send the fax to: +1 407-275-8723.

Your registration is not complete until your payment has been processed and confirmed.

Payment Methods

Google Checkout The preferred method for FLAIRS-25 payment is Google Checkout (which accepts credit cards).

Bank Transfer - please fill in the FLAIRS-25 Registration Payment Form and send to our Conference Administrator. You can email a PDF scan of the signed form to Jeanni. If you would prefer to fax the form, please email Jeanni to notify and send the fax to: +1 407-275-8723. Jeanni will then be able to provide FLAIRS-25 bank account details for the transfer. There will be an additional $20 processing fee for bank transfers. Bank transfer processing must be complete, not simply initiated, by the registration deadline. Since this can take several weeks, you must allow enough time for processing to complete.

Check from US Bank - please make the check out to "FLAIRS," fill in the FLAIRS-25 Registration Payment Form, and send both check and payment form together to the following address.

FLAIRS-25, c/o J.W. Gerber
11409 Swift Water Circle
Orlando, Florida 32817

(online registration is now available for at-the-door registrations)
FLAIRS-25 Online Registration

Online credit-card registration for FLAIRS-25 uses Google Checkout for order processing. Google Checkout provides an introduction for buyers. You can add several individual registrations to one cart by changing the details. You can also order extra opening reception and daily lunch tickets in the same cart. Please note that registration details in the drop-down cart are not sorted. Google Checkout requires you to establish an account to use the service. Offline registration methods are also available, please consult the FLAIRS-25 web site 'Registration Details' section.

For Author Registrations, Each accepted paper or poster must have at least one author registered with a regular registration by March 1 in order for the paper or poster to be included in the conference. If the only author registering for the conference is a student, the registration must be a full regular registration. Additional authors can register as regular or student. If you are the author of more than one paper, you need to register as an author only once.

For Student Registrations, Students must provide proof of student status. Documentation should be provided via email or fax to the FLAIRS-25 Conference Administrator, Jeanni Gerber - jwgerber(at)earthlink(dot)net. Documents attached to email should be in PDF format. Please include FLAIRS-25 and a brief description in the subject line. For faxing documentation, please email Jeanni to notify and send the fax to: +1 407-275-8723.

Questions regarding registration can be addressed to our conference administrator, Jeanni, at jwgerber(at)earthlink(dot)net, or to the conference General Chair, Chad Lane. Please report any problems with the online registration system to the conference General Chair.

FLAIRS-25 Registration
FLAIRS  Registration - $500
Registration Type: At door (By May 25 - $500)
Student at door (By May 25 - $350)
One-Day Regular ($180)
One-Day Student ($130)
Students must send proof of student status - details above.
Please provide your title, name, affiliation, and country, as you would
like them to appear on your name tag.* fields are required.
* Given/First Name:
* Family/Last Name:
* Registrant Email:
City, State/Region, Country:
Authors Only - Paper ID Number(s) - Comma Separated for Multiple
Paper Number(s):
Additional details (dietary requirements, etc)
Extra Information:
FLAIRS-25 Extra Lunch / Reception Tickets

Registration includes all social events. Extra social event tickets (for family, partners, etc.) are available. You can make a separate payment for these if you wish.

Extra Lunch Ticket (one day) - $35.00
How Many?
Extra Reception Ticket - $80.00
How Many?
Shuttle Signup - to and from Ft. Myers Airport (RSW)

We have arranged special rates with Classic Transportation to provide transportation to and from Ft. Myers Airport (RSW) only. The cost for a round trip is $60 and one-way is $35. This must be paid to FLAIRS in advance. Please note that this is only for transport to/from RSW: If you are arriving at a different airport (Miami or Ft. Lauderdale), you should book separately and not pay through FLAIRS.

Some important details:

  • You must arrive at Ft. Myers (RSW) airport on Mon-Wed (5/21-5/23) and depart from Fri-Sun (5/25-5/27).
  • Your ride will either be in a sedan, passenger van, or a mini bus.
  • All passengers are met inside the airport and are greeted by the driver who will hold a red sign with "FLAIRS" written on it.
  • All drivers are professional, background checked, dresssed in shirt and tie and all vehicles are non-smoking.
  • The driver will meet parties at the hotel for departures and will hold the same red sign.

If you wish to sign up, here's what to do:

  1. Use google checkout to pay the $60 (round-trip) or $35 fee (one-way). This payment will be to FLAIRS and does include gratuity. This is due by May 14.
  2. Provide your flight details (airline, flight numbers, and times)
  3. (optional) Request to ride with friends who you know are also signing up (they should be on the same flight as you, or arrive within about 20 minutes of you - we will do our best.).
  4. You will receive a confirmation email from FLAIRS within a day or two of your order. Specific details will follow after all orders have been processed - you should expect this email by May 17.

Questions about signing up can be sent to the conference General Chair, Chad Lane, while questions about the shuttle service can be directed to Classic Transportation.

Shuttle Service Sign-up Sheet (Ft. Myers Airport - RSW - ONLY)
The deadline for shuttle registration has passed.
FLAIRS-25 Shuttle Service - $60
Service requested: Round trip (By May 14 - $60)
One-way to Hilton (By May 14 - $35)
One-way to RSW By May 14 - $35)
Please provide your travel information:
* Given/First Name:
* Family/Last Name:
* Registrant Email:
* Arrival flight (e.g., AA1468):
* Arrival date and time (e.g., Tues 5/22 3:05pm):
* Departure flight:
* Departure date and time:
Fellow rider requests (same flight):

Click "add to cart" once then return to the top of the page to your cart. From there, proceed to google checkout to submit the payment.

(note: please use actual flight times for arrival and departure - a sufficient time buffer will be provided)

FLAIRS-25 Accommodation, Location, Travel

The 25th Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference (FLAIRS-25) will be held May 23-25, 2012 at The Marco Island Hilton in Marco Island, Florida, USA. FLAIRS-25 has arranged conference rates for a block of rooms with the hotel. Conference blocked rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis until that category of the block is filled. Special room rates:

  • Jr. Suite, Garden View, 2 double beds ($129/night)
  • Jr. Suite, Gulf View, 2 double beds ($149/night)
  • Jr. Suite Deluxe, Gulf View, 2 double beds ($169/night)
  • 1 bed room suite, Gulf View, 1 king bed ($319/night)
Conference blocked rooms will be available until either the block is full or until April 23, 2012. Reservations can be made through the Marco Island Hilton's website.

Location, Travel

FLAIRS-25 will be held in Marco Island, FL. Most attendees will fly to Ft. Myers (RSW), but Miami or Naples may be alternative options. RSW is 52 miles from the Marco Island Hilton making it a nontrivial challenge to get there cheaply. The Marco Island Hilton website has more specific information that may be helpful. Please note, there is a $10/day parking fee at the hotel.

Arrangements are being made with a local transportation company for reduced rates to/from the Ft. Myers airport. As soon as we have negotiated the final rates, they will be posted here.

Hotel Room Sharing

We are maintaining a list of people who are looking for someone to share a room with. If you would like to share with anyone, please contact them directly. If you'd like to be added to or removed from this list, please email your name and homepage URL to the conference General Chair. The deadline for this is Wednesday, April 25

FLAIRS Sponsored Programs Information

Private and government organizations can work with the FLAIRS conference to further their interests through a variety of sponsored programs. These include General Conference Sponsorship, Sponsored Workshops, and Sponsored Special Tracks. For each type of program, sponsorship is acknowledged in the FLAIRS Conference web site, programs, and banners. Over 50% of the proceeds from sponsored programs is used to offset student travel and attendance at the FLAIRS Conference. Interested organizations are asked to fill in the sponsorship form.

General Conference Sponsorship provides a method to support the FLAIRS Conference and to publicize this support. Based on the amount of sponsorship, general sponsors are provided free registration for a number of attendees to the FLAIRS Conference, along with acknowledgment of their support in conference materials.

Sponsored Workshops provide an avenue to explore an area of AI over an entire day, in a manner decided by the sponsor. Workshops are held the day before or the day after the general conference. Past workshops have included AI in College Curricula, AI Tool Methodology, Time Series Competitions, etc. A meeting room and refreshments are provided. The format, schedule, and attendance at the workshop are decided by the sponsor. Based on the amount of sponsorship, full registrations are provided to the FLAIRS Conference for up to 12 or 20 attendees. Sponsored workshops must be approved by the General Chair of the FLAIRS Conference.

Sponsored Special Tracks provide an avenue to initiate, stimulate, or address a specific area of AI research in a manner that conforms to the FLAIRS Conference standards. Sponsored Special Tracks are held during the FLAIRS Conference, along with other special tracks. Attendance is open to all conference registrants. Sponsors select the subject, the program committee, and an invited speaker whose registration and housing is covered for the entire conference. Sponsors publicize their track and issue a call for papers. The program committee evaluates submissions and decides which papers to accept for the track. Sponsored Special Tracks receive up to two 90-minute sessions during the conference for the presentation of accepted papers and the invited talk. All of the accepted papers are published in the FLAIRS Conference proceedings. Based on the amount of sponsorship, full registrations are provided to the FLAIRS Conference for up to 12 or 20 attendees. Sponsored Special Tracks must be approved by the FLAIRS Conference Special Tracks Chair.

Sponsorship Type Amount
General Conference Sponsorship Increments of $1000, with one free registration per $1000
Sponsored Workshop $10,500 (12 attendees), $17,500 (20 attendees)
Sponsored Special Track $10,500 (12 attendees), $17,500 (20 attendees)
FLAIRS-25 Program