September 12, 2008

Story Understanding and Generation at the Interface

by Nick Montfort · , 3:10 pm

Deadline extended to Monday 1 December 2008 5pm US EST.

Another excellent-sounding workshop on computing and story is coming up, this time at the Intelligent User Interfaces conference. Note the extended deadline, that the workshop welcomes demos, and that all those who attend IUI are welcome.

Common Sense and Intelligent User Interfaces 2009:
Story Understanding and Generation for Context-Aware Interface Design

February 8th, 2009, Sanibel Island, Florida
An IUI 2009 Workshop

Send questions to
Organizers: Catherine Havasi, Henry Lieberman and Erik T. Mueller
Deadline: now 1 December 2008 5pm US EST

“Knowlege is stories” – Roger Schank

While much work in AI has represented simple knowledge about everyday life and activities at the word, sentence, and logical assertion level, we see a growing need to understand it at a larger granularity, that of stories. A story is a short, focused description of people and events occurring over time, that has a “point” — to inform, teach, question, entertain, educate, illustrate or amuse.

Capturing common sense knowledge often involves uncovering the implicit, unstated assumptions behind communication, often best expressed through stories. Work in story representations dates back to Schank-style scripts and other efforts in the 80s, but recent developments have unleashed new potential in this area. The maturity of common sense knowledge bases such as Cyc, Open Mind and ThoughtTreasure; statistical and corpora-based natural language understanding techniques; the explosion of participatory knowledge collection over the Web; progress in cognitive science; the popularity of Web-based storytelling media such as blogs; and new common sense reasoning techniques are all enablers of the new generation of work on common sense stories.

Topics include, but are by no means limited to:

* Story understanding and natural language understanding
* Extraction of common sense knowledge from stories
* A cognitive modeling based understanding of stories
* Common sense knowledge bases to facilitate story understanding and story generation
* Acquiring story knowledge from users or from the internet
* Representation and reasoning with story knowledge
* Blogs and nonlinear fiction and nonfiction media as a source of stories or as a domain
* Interfaces to facilitate storytelling by users in text, audio, pictures, and video media


We are accepting both papers and demos to our workshop.

Please follow the same formatting guidelines as the main IUI conference, which are detailed at their call for papers. Workshop papers should be up to four pages in length and position paper should be one page in length. Several of the workshop papers will be selected to give a short talk at the workshop. Demo papers should be two pages in length. Papers should be prepared for blind review.

Please keep in mind you will have to provide your own computer for the demo session. Proceedings will be provided on CD and will be a collection of accepted papers, demos and position papers.

Send your submissions in PDF form to

Participation is open to all attendees of the IUI conference.

3 Responses to “Story Understanding and Generation at the Interface”

  1. Nick Montfort Says:

    Note that the deadline for this workshop is Thursday, November 20!

  2. Henry Lieberman Says:

    Hey, Nick, submit something! :-)
    (and you readers, too!)


  3. Nick Montfort Says:

    Note, everyone, that the deadline has been extended to December 1 at 5pm US EST.

    Henry, if I had about 7 more steps on iteration on my miniature story generator and a full 8K of work to discuss, I would certainly submit! Whether I make it or not, I’m looking forward to seeing the work of those who have. It sounds like it will be a great workshop in a very nice context, geographically and intellectually.

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