The workshop was a follow up of the three day workshop ``Reasoning with Uncertainty in Robotics'' (RUR-95, Amsterdam, NL, Dec. 1995). The great interest raised by RUR-95 prompted us to organize a second RUR workshop to collect the new developments in both fields. A related aim of the workshop was to provide an opportunity to critically examine various (competing) approaches, and to discuss their strengths and weaknesses in several types of environments.
One of the objectives of the workshop was to assess the relative merits and demerits in the robotic field of the different formalisms for managing uncertainty that have developed in the AI community. This was the aim of the panel discussion. This objective has not been satisfactorily achieved, mainly because the non-probabilistic formalisms (e.g., fuzzy logic, possibility theory, and evidence theory) were under-represented at the workshop.
While the problem of a fair and useful comparison between different approaches to uncertainty remains unsolved, the workshop increased the general awereness of the necessity to look into different uncertainty formalisms, and to assess the adequacy of each formalism for each robotic task. It was felt that the issue of understanding the intended semantics of the uncertainty representations that we use in our robots cannot be waived any longer by just saying that ``it works''. This important issue will have to be addressed by future workshops.
In summary, the workshop was fully succesful in its being a forum for scientific exchange on the target issue, both in quantitative and qualitative terms. It was only partially so, however, in its goal of reaching a better understanding of the role of different uncertainty formalisms in our field. The awareness of the importance of this goal, however, has increased through the discussions at the workshop.