Call: International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI) 2012 – Grand Challenges

International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI) 2012
Santa Monica, CA, Oct. 22-26, 2012
First Call for Multimodal Grand Challenges

The International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI) is the premier international forum for multidisciplinary research on multimodal human-human and human-computer interaction, interfaces, and system development. The conference focuses on theoretical and empirical foundations, component technologies, and combined multimodal processing techniques that define the field of multimodal interaction analysis, interface design, and system development.

Multimodal technologies are fundamentally changing the ways people interact with each other and with computers. Multimodal systems – recognizing language and gesture exchanged among people or as input to interfaces in physical environments or mobile devices – facilitate and enrich social interactions and allow people to naturally interact with computer systems with minimal training, for domains such as communications, education, entertainment, and robotics.

Developing systems that can robustly understand human-human communication or respond to human input requires identifying the best algorithms and their failure modes. In fields such as computer vision, speech recognition, and computational linguistics, the availability of datasets and common tasks have led to great progress. We invite the ICMI community to collectively define and tackle the scientific Grand Challenges in our domain for the next 5 years. Multimodal Grand Challenges are driven by ideas that are bold, innovative, and inclusive. They should inspire new ideas in the ICMI community and create momentum for future collaborative work. Analysis, synthesis, and interactive tasks are all possible.

We are seeking organizers to propose and run Grand Challenge events. Both academic and corporate organizers are welcome. We are looking for three types of challenges:

  • Dataset-driven challenge. This challenge will provide a dataset that is exemplary of the complexities of current and future multimodal problems, and one or more multimodal tasks whose performance can be objectively measured. Participants in the Challenge will evaluate their methods against the challenge data in order to identify areas of strengths and weakness.
  • User case challenge. This challenge will provide an interactive  problem/system (e.g. dialog-based) and the associated resources, which can allow people to participate through the integration of specific modules or alternative full systems. Proposers should also  establish systematic evaluation procedures.
  • Concept challenge. This challenge proposes new ideas (e.g. involving new sensors) that, while not fully tested now, could lead to breakthroughs if our community decided to tackle them together or individually.

Prospective organizers should submit a five-page max proposal containing the following information:

  • Title
  • Abstract appropriate for possible Web promotion of the Challenge
  • Detailed description of the challenge and its relevance to multimodal interaction.
  • Plan for soliciting participation
  • Proposed schedule for releasing datasets and receiving submissions.
  • Short bio of the organizers
  • Funding source (if any) that supports or could support the challenge organization.
  • Preference (if any) for special session or workshop format.

Proposals will be evaluated based on originality, ambition, feasibility, and implementation plan. The ICMI organizers offer support with basic logistics and with the identification of additional funding sources (e.g. for awards).  Proposals should be emailed to the ICMI 2012 Challenge Co-Chairs. Prospective organizers are also encouraged to contact them in case of questions.  More information is available on the ICMI website:

Important dates

Proposal submissions:   December 09, 2011
Notifications:   December 16, 2011
ICMI 2012:   October 22-26, 2012


Daniel Gatica-Perez
Idiap Research Institute

Stefanie Tellex


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