IJCAI-JAIR Best Paper Prize


The Annual IJCAI-JAIR Best Paper Prize is awarded to an outstanding paper published in JAIR in the preceding five calendar years. The prize committee is comprised of associate editors and members of the JAIR Advisory Board; their decision is based on both the significance of the paper and the quality of presentation. The recipient(s) of the award receives a prize of US$500 (to be split amongst the authors of a co-authored paper). Funding for this award was provided by the International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence.


2017 Prize: E. Bruni, N. K. Tran and M. Baroni (2014) "Multimodal Distributional Semantics" Volume 49, pages 1-47.

Citation: "This paper describes a procedure for constructing word representations using text- and image-based distributional information. This has been a fundamental and innovative contribution in the area of natural language and vision. Another key contribution is the data set, which has since been used extensively. This work is recognised for its impact within multiple areas in AI, including NLP, Vision, and Machine Learning, and for its seminal role in the introduction of a multimodal perspective in distributional semantics models for computational representations of word meaning."

2017 Honorable Mention: A. J. Coles, A. I. Coles, M. Fox and D. Long (2012) "COLIN: Planning with Continuous Linear Numeric Change" Volume 44, pages 1-96.

Citation: "This paper combines classical planning over a domain model with reasoning over continuous change - a challenging topic of high relevance within the AI community as well as for real-world applications, including energy management, chemical engineering and robotics. It introduces a concrete instantiation of what has since become the dominant approach for temporal hybrid planning, by effectively combining heuristic search with an external numeric reasoner such as a linear program solver. This work is recognised for its impact within AI planning and beyond, and for its seminal role in the development of hybrid discrete-continuous planning techniques."


2016 Prize: Christian Geist, Ulle Endriss (2011) "Automated Search for Impossibility Theorems in Social Choice Theory: Ranking Sets of Objects" Volume 40, pages 143-174.

Citation: "This article presents a core AI result in computational social choice using automatic theorem proving techniques, by studying axioms that relate preferences over individual objects with preferences over sets of objects. These axioms are represented as formulae in a many-sorted first-order-logic that are then mapped into propositional logic formulae amenable and tackled using a SAT solver. A key contribution of the paper is a result showing that inconsistencies found for a fixed domain size can be extended to larger domains, leading to an impossibility theorem. Using this approach, the authors verify a number of known theorems and discover several new ones. Overall, the contributions made in this work are of considerable importance for computational social choice and for AI in general; they include: (i) a practical automatic method for theorem search, (ii) the verification of a number of well-known theorems, and (iii) the automatic discovery of several new and non-trivial impossibility theorems in social choice."

2016 Honorable Mention: Perukrishnen Vytelingum, Thomas Voice, Sarvapali D. Ramchurn, Alex Rogers, Nicholas R. Jennings (2011) "Theoretical and Practical Foundations of Large-Scale Agent-Based Micro-Storage in the Smart Grid" Volume 42, pages 765-813.

The prizes will be announced at the IJCAI-16 awards ceremony.


2015 Prize: S. Richter and M. Westphal (2010) "The LAMA Planner: Guiding Cost-Based Anytime Planning with Landmarks", Volume 39, pages 127-177. Evgeniy Gabrilovich and Shaul Markovitch (2009)

Citation: "This paper gives a comprehensive description and analysis of the award winning LAMA planner. LAMA's use of landmarks in combination with cost-sensitive heuristics is presented, and the performance of the planner in different configurations is evaluated and analyzed in a detailed and insightful experimental study. This excellently written paper has been very influential and has helped to establish the use of landmarks as a key technique in classical planning."


2014 Prize: Evgeniy Gabrilovich and Shaul Markovitch (2009) "Wikipedia-based Semantic Interpretation for Natural Language Processing", Volume 34, pages 443-498.

Citation: "This paper demonstrates how contextual word meaning can be represented in a high-dimensional space of concepts derived from encyclopedic knowledge bases such as Wikipedia. A key insight is that the set of target documents provided for a semantic analysis task is normally insufficient; knowledge from publicly available resources, such as Wikipedia, allow much finer-grained representations of contextual word meaning to be recovered, which can significantly improve the quality of text categorization and assessments of semantic relatedness. This work represents one of the earliest and most influential investigations of using large-scale encyclopedic resources for extracting meaning representations---an idea that now lies at the heart of much work in natural language processing and information retrieval."

2014 Honorable Mention: Joel Veness, Kee Siong Ng, Marcus Hutter, William Uther and David Silver (2011) "A Monte-Carlo AIXI Approximation", Volume 40, pages 95-142.

Citation: "This paper investigates the possibility of designing reinforcement learning agents based on a direct approximation of AIXI, a Bayesian notion of optimality in uncertain sequential decision making environments. Although it had been unclear whether AIXI could provide a practical foundation for designing learning agents, this paper demonstrates the first plausible realization of an AIXI agent by exploiting Monte Carlo tree search and context tree weighting algorithms. The paper presents a bold and original perspective on the difficult problem of partially observable reinforcement learning, while demonstrating impressive results on a range of applications."


2013 Prize: Daniel Golovin and Andreas Krause (2011) "Adaptive Submodularity: Theory and Applications in Active Learning and Stochastic Optimization", Volume 42, 427-486.


2012 Prize: H. Palacios and H. Geffner (2009) "Compiling Uncertainty Away in Conformant Planning Problems with Bounded Width", Volume 35, 623-675.

2012 Honorable Mention: A. Krause and C. Guestrin (2009) "Optimal Value of Information in Graphical Models", Volume 35, 557-591.


2011 Prize: N. Nisan and A. Ronen (2007) "Computationally Feasible VCG Mechanisms" Volume 29, 19-47.

2011 Honorable Mention: A. Fern, S. Yoon and R. Givan (2006) "Approximate Policy Iteration with a Policy Language Bias: Solving Relational Markov Decision Processes", Volume 25, 75-118.


2010 Prize: L. Xu, F. Hutter, H. Hoos, and K. Leyton-Brown (2008) "SATzilla: Portfolio-based Algorithm Selection for SAT", Volume 32, 565-606.

2010 Honorable Mention: S. Ponzetto and M. Strube (2007) "Knowledge Derived From Wikipedia For Computing Semantic Relatedness", Volume 30, 181-212.


2009 Prize: C. Boutilier, R. Brafman, C. Domshlak, H. Hoos, and D. Poole (2004) "CP-nets: A Tool for Representing and Reasoning with Conditional Ceteris Paribus Preference Statements", Volume 21, pages 135-191.

2009 Honorable Mention: M. Helmert (2006) "The Fast Downward Planning System", Volume 26, pages 191-246.


2008 Prize: G. Gottlob, G. Greco and F. Scarcello (2005) "Pure Nash Equilibria: Hard and Easy Games", Volume 24, pages 357-406.

2008 Honorable Mention: P. Beame, H. Kautz and A. Sabharwal (2004) "Towards Understanding and Harnessing the Potential of Clause Learning", Volume 22, pages 319-351.


2007 Prize: Guestrin, C., Koller, D., Parr, R. and Venkataraman, S. (2003) "Efficient Solution Algorithms for Factored MDPs", 19, 399 - 468.

2007 Honorable Mention: Felner, A., Korf, R.E. and Hanan, S. (2004) "Additive Pattern Database Heuristics", 22, 279-318.


2006 Prize: Darwiche, A. and Marquis, P. (2002) "A Knowledge Compilation Map", 17, 229 - 264.

2006 Honorable Mention: Ginsberg, M.L. (2001) "GIB: Imperfect Information in a Computationally Challenging Game", 14, 303-358.


2005 Prize: Hoffmann, J. and Nebel, B. (2001) "The FF Planning System: Fast Plan Generation Through Heuristic Search", 14, 253 - 302.

2005 Honorable Mention: Cheng, J. and Druzdzel, M.J. (2000) "AIS-BN: An Adaptive Importance Sampling Algorithm for Evidential Reasoning in Large Bayesian Networks", 13, 155-188.


2004 Prize: Ygge, F. and Akkermans, H. (1999) "Decentralized Markets versus Central Control: A Comparative Study", 11, 301-333.

2004 Honorable Mention: Fox, D., Burgard, W. and Thrun, S. (1999) "Markov Localization for Mobile Robots in Dynamic Environments", 11, 391-427.


2003 Prize: Dietterich, T.G. (2000) "Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning with the MAXQ Value Function Decomposition", 13, 227-303.

2003 Honorable Mention: Littman, M.L., Goldsmith, J. and Mundhenk M. (1998) "The Computational Complexity of Probabilistic Planning", 9, 1-36.