Our History





This webpage briefly summarizes the history of JAIR. A more complete description, together with a discussion of "grassroots" orientation, can be found in the article JAIR at Five published by AAAI (AI Magazine, Vol. 20, number 2, 1999). A local copy of the article is also available here.

JAIR began accepting submissions on June 15, 1993, and published its first article in August, 1993: Michael P. Wellman's "A Market-Oriented Programming Environment and its Application to Distributed Multicommodity Flow Problems" (JAIR Volume 1, pages 1-23, 1993). The Volume 1 Masthead lists the original JAIR editors, editorial board, and production supervisors.

The journal was conceived and developed in 1992 by Steven Minton, with a great deal of assistance from Jaime Carbonell, Oren Etzioni, Ken Forbus, Matt Ginsberg, Rich Korf, Paul Rosenbloom, Bart Selman, and Dan Weld. Peter Friedland, Tom Dietterich, Pat Langley and Tom Mitchell also offered advice during the development of the journal prior to its establishment. The JAIR newsgroups were created by Matt Ginsberg.

Since its inception, JAIR has been managed as a grass roots "budgetless" enterprise, where the labor and resources required to run the journal are donated by individuals and scientific organizations on an "as needed" basis. The American Association for Artificial Intelligence provided a small grant to pay for JAIR's start-up legal expenses, including legal research to explore the issues involved in publishing source code. Mike Morgan of Morgan Kaufmann Publishers made an important contribution by courageously agreeing to publish JAIR in hardcopy (even though the electronic version would be available for free on the internet). Peter Friedland, as a branch chief at NASA Ames, was instrumental in providing administrative support at Ames. Fausto Guinchiglia supported a JAIR mirror site at the University of Genoa in Italy. Sites were also provided by the computer science departments at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Washington.

Steven Minton served as the journal's first Executive Editor. As activity increased during the first year, several editorial board members were recruited to serve as associate editors. In 1997, Michael Wellman took over as JAIR's second executive editor, followed by Martha Pollack in 2001. As a result of the growth of the journal, Pollack eventually instituted a new policy wherein the journal is jointly managed by an Editor-in-Chief and an Associate Editor-in-Chief. After an individual serves as the Associate Editor-in-Chief, he or she becomes the next Editor-in-Chief (for a two year term). JAIR has been fortunate to have had an extraordinary succession of individuals serving as Editor-in-Chief: Moshe Tennenholtz (2005 - 2006), Toby Walsh (2007-2008), Adnan Darwiche (2009-2010), and Shlomo Zilberstein (2011-2012).

Over the years, JAIR has also experimented with a variety of new features, including "Online Appendices" (containing data, source code, etc.), full-text search, comments, and "Ask the Author". Peter Turney played an important role in creating and managing several of these experiments.

JAIR's initial issues and web site sported this original logo. JAIR undertook a redesign of its web site in November 1996, with most of the work performed by Jon Doyle.

Over the years, JAIR has been supported by many individuals and organizations, who have donated money and facilities. In particular, we would like to thank AAAIIJCAI, David Smith, NASA Ames Research CenterInferLink CorporationCarnegie-Mellon Universitythe University of Michiganthe University of WashingtonGoogleMicrosoftUSC/ISI, Fetch Technologies, NSF, Michael Wellman, IISI, Shlomo Ziberstein, and Dan Weld for their support.