Special Issue of Robotics and Autonomous Systems on
Semantic Knowledge in Robotics
Guest editors: J. Hertzberg and A. Saffiotti

Call for Papers

Submission is now closed

Aims and Objectives

There is a growing tendency to introduce high-level semantic knowledge into robotic systems. This tendency is visible in different forms within several areas of robotics. Recent work in mapping and localization tries to extract semantically meaningful structures from sensor data during map building, or to use semantic knowledge in the map building process, or both. A similar trend characterizes the cognitive vision approach to scene understanding. Recent efforts in human-robot interaction try to endow the robot with some understanding of the human meaning of words, gestures and expressions. Ontological knowledge is increasingly being used in distributed systems in order to allow automatic re-configuration in the areas of flexible automation and of ubiquitous robotics. Ontological knowledge was also used recently to improve the inter-operability of robotic components developed for different systems.

While all these trends share many common questions and issues, work on each one of them is often pursued in isolation within a specific area, without being aware of the related achievements is other areas. The aim of this special issue is to collect in a single place a collection of advanced, high-level works that tackle the problem of using semantic knowledge in robotics in many of its different forms.

This special issue will also emphasize the link between the robotic community and the knowledge representation (KR) community in AI. The perspective taken here is that there are possibly many ideas and formalisms that can be taken from the KR community, but that these should be evaluated from the point of view of robotics: any KR formalism of interest need not only be representationally and inferentially efficient (as normally required for a KR formalism), but also effectively grounded in the robot's sensor and motor signals.


We solicit original papers which report novel contributions related to the creation, representation and use of semantic knowledge in autonomous robots. We aim at a balanced mixture of theoretical papers, reporting strong fundamental results, and papers that present techniques which have been experimentally validated on real single or multiple robot systems. Submissions will be peer reviewed for scientific value, presentation quality, and relevance to this special issue.

Papers should be typeset according to the format instructions for the Robotics and Autonomous Systems journal, available from the Elsevier web site. Length should not exceed 22 pages in the above format (single column). Please e-mail your submission to both guest editors, in PDF format. Other, non-standard formats (e.g., Word) cannot be accepted. In the body of the e-mail message, please specify the following:

Paper title Name and affiliation of all authors Name, email, and postal address of corresponding author Phone and fax of corresponding author Keywords (max 5) Abstract (maximum 200 words)

All submissions will be acknowledged within a few days. Please contact the guest editors if you do not receive an acknowledgement.

Important Dates

  February 4, 2008 Submissions due
  April 18, 2008 Notification of acceptance
  May 30, 2008 Final version due
-> Fall 2008 Expected publication date

Guest editors

Joachim Hertzberg   Institute of Computer Science, University of Osnabrück
Albrechtstraße 28, D-49069 Osnabrück, Germany
Email: hertzberg (a) informatik.uni-osnabrueck.de
Alessandro Saffiotti   Dept of Technology, University of Örebro
Fakultetsgatan 1, S-70182 Örebro, Sweden
Email: asaffio (a) aass.oru.se


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