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"ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)" <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 24 Sep 2003 11:53:33 +1200
Tanja Mitrovic <[log in to unmask]>
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Tanja Mitrovic <[log in to unmask]>
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                     *****Apologies for multiple postings*****
              **** NOTE: Submission Deadline is Jan. 31, 2004 ****

                            CALL FOR PAPERS
                           Special Issue on
                  User Modeling and Constraint-Based Tutors

                  User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction:
                    The Journal of Personalization Research
                (an international journal published by Kluwer)

Intelligent tutoring systems offer individualized instruction by adapting to
the knowledge, needs and learning abilities of their individual users. In
order to be able to do so, these systems need to model the knowledge and
other characteristics of their students. Many student modeling approaches
have been proposed over the years, with only a few of them being used widely
and outside of research labs. One such approach is constraint-based
modeling, proposed by Stellan Ohlsson in early 1990s. CBM arises from
Ohlssonís theory of learning from performance errors, which proposes that we
often make mistakes when performing a task, even when we have been taught
the correct way to do it. According to this theory, we make mistakes because
the declarative knowledge we have learned has not been internalized in our
procedural knowledge, and so the number of decisions we must make while
performing the procedure is sufficiently large that we make mistakes. By
practicing the task, however, and catching ourselves (or being caught by a
mentor) making mistakes, we modify our procedure to incorporate the
appropriate rule that we have violated. Over time we internalise all of the
declarative knowledge about the task, and so the number of mistakes we make
is reduced. A student needs declarative knowledge in order to detect an
error. If the student does not possess such declarative knowledge, an ITS
may play the role of a mentor, and inform the student of the mistake. A
carefully designed sequence of feedback messages, which reflects the action
of a human teacher, helps the student to overcome problems in his/her

The starting point for CBM is that correct solutions are similar to each
other in that they satisfy all the general principles of the domain. No
correct solution can be arrived at by traversing a problem state that
violates a fundamental principle of the domain. In CBM, we are not
interested in what the student has done, but in what state they are
currently in. Several constraint-based tutors have been developed and
evaluation studies performed show that they support studentsí learning and
require less effort to develop compared to some other existing student
modeling approaches.

Papers presenting original contributions pertinent to Constraint-Based
Modeling are sought for a special issue of the journal "User Modeling and
User-Adapted Interaction: The Journal of Personalization Research" published
by Kluwer. We solicit papers that address theoretical issues relevant to
adaptation in constraint-based intelligent tutoring systems, as well as
application papers that present novel implemented systems. Theoretical
papers should present new techniques or enhancements of CBM, or empirical
studies relevant to constraint-based tutors. Application papers should
present new constraint-based systems that have been implemented and
evaluated, clearly presenting the advances offered by the systems.

Submissions to the special issue should follow the UMUAI submission
instructions which are obtainable from the Web site

Electronic submissions are preferred. Each submission should note that it is
intended for the special issue on User Modeling and Constraint-Based Tutors.
UMUAI is an archival journal that publishes mature and substantiated
research results on the (dynamic) adaptation of computer systems to their
human users, and the role that a model of the system about the user plays in
this context. Many articles in UMUAI are quite comprehensive and describe
the results of several years of work. Consequently, UMUAI gives "unlimited"
space to authors (so long as what they write is important).

Potential authors are asked to notify the guest editors (Tanja Mitrovic,
email: [log in to unmask]) as soon as possible of their intent to
submit an article. Sometime thereafter (but preferably a month prior to the
submission deadline), they should submit a tentative title and short
abstract (which can be altered for the actual submission) to assist in the
formation of a panel of appropriate reviewers.

Submissions will undergo the normal review process, and will be reviewed by
three established researchers selected from a panel of reviewers formed for
the special issue. Barring unforeseen problems, authors can expect to be
notified regarding the review results within three months of submission.

    Notification of Intent to Submit: as soon as possible
    Deadline Date for Submissions: January 31, 2004

Please address any questions to the guest editor:
Tanja Mitrovic
Computer Science Department
University of Canterbury
Christchurch, New Zealand
Phone: +64 3 3642987 ext 7771
Fax: +64 3 3642569
Email: [log in to unmask]