PAutomaC Call for Participation: Probabilistic Automata learning Competition

Event Notification Type: 
Call for Participation
special session at ICGI'12
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 to Saturday, 15 September 2012
Contact Email: 
Washington, DC
Submission Deadline: 
Saturday, 30 June 2012

PAutomaC Call for Participation
Probabilistic Automata learning Competition
-- Please, accept our apologies in case of multiple receptions --

PAutomaC is a competition about learning probabilistic finite state
models (PFA, HMM, WA, …). These machines are well-known models for
characterizing the behaviour of systems or processes. A nice feature of
these automaton models is that it is easy to interpret. Unfortunately,
in many applications the original design of a system is unknown. That is
why learning approaches has been used, for instance:
- To modelize DNA or protein sequences in bioinformatics.
- To find patterns underlying different sounds for speech processing.
- To develop morphological or phonological rules for natural language
- To modelize unknown mechanical processes in Physics
- To discover the exact environment of robots.
- To detect Anomaly for detecting intrusions in computer security.
- To do behavioural modelling of users in applications ranging from
web systems to the automotive sector.
- To discover the structure of music styles for music classification
and generation.
In all such cases, an automaton model is learned from observations of
the system, i.e., a finite set of strings. As the data gathered from
observations is usually unlabelled, the standard method of dealing with
this situation is to assume a probabilistic automaton model, i.e., a
distribution over strings.
This is what the competition is about.


- March: PAutomaC is open, anyone can register, develop and test their
algorithms on training data sets that are available, submit their
results to get feedbacks.
- May 20th: Competition data sets are available
- June 30th: Competition is over
- July 20th: Short papers are submitted
- September 12-15th: special session at ICGI'12 in Washington, DC, USA
( )

Prizes and publications:

Our sponsor CASL (http:// will award a prize of
$500 to the winner of the competition.
Participants are encouraged to submit an extended abstract and to
present their innovations at the PAutomaC special session that will be
organised during ICGI 2012.
The winner is expected to submit a paper to the Machine Learning Journal
special issue that will follow the ICGI 2012 conference.

Scientific committee:

- Peter Adriaans, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Dana Angluin, Yale University, USA
- Alexander Clark, Royal Holloway University of London, UK
- Pierre Dupont, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium.
- Ricard Gavalda, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain
- Colin de la Higuera, Université de Nantes, France
- Jean-Christophe Janodet, Université d'Evry, France
- Tim Oates, University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA
- Jose Oncina, Universitat de Alicante, Spain
- Menno van Zaanen, Tilburg University, The Netherlands

All informations about the competition can be found on its website:
Email contact: