• 11 July 2018: The ALA 2018 Best Paper Award will be sponsored by Valeo
  • 16 May 2018: Submissions are now closed. We received 55 submissions this year!
  • 14 May 2018: The submission deadline has been extended to 15 May 2018 23:59 UTC!
  • 19 April 2018: The submission deadline has been extended to 13 May 2018!
  • 7 March 2018: Program Committee members added
  • 27 February 2018: ALA 2018 site launched

ALA 2018 - Workshop at the Federated AI Meeting 2018

Adaptive Learning Agents (ALA) encompasses diverse fields such as Computer Science, Software Engineering, Biology, as well as Cognitive and Social Sciences. The ALA workshop will focus on agents and multiagent systems which employ learning or adaptation.

This year's edition of ALA will be held as part of the joint workshop program at the Federated AI Meeting (FAIM) which will take place in Stockholm. Co-located conferences at the FAIM include AAMAS, ICML, IJCAI-ECAI, ICCBR and SOCS.

This workshop is a continuation of the long running AAMAS series of workshops on adaptive agents, now in its sixteenth year. Previous editions of this workshop may be found at the following urls:

The goal of this workshop is to increase awareness of and interest in adaptive agent research, encourage collaboration and give a representative overview of current research in the area of adaptive and learning agents and multi-agent systems. It aims at bringing together not only scientists from different areas of computer science (e.g. agent architectures, reinforcement learning, evolutionary algorithms) but also from different fields studying similar concepts (e.g. game theory, bio-inspired control, mechanism design).

The workshop will serve as an inclusive forum for the discussion of ongoing or completed work covering both theoretical and practical aspects of adaptive and learning agents and multi-agent systems.

This workshop will focus on all aspects of adaptive and learning agents and multi-agent systems with a particular amphasis on how to modify established learning techniques and/or create new learning paradigms to address the many challenges presented by complex real-world problems. The topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Novel combinations of reinforcement and supervised learning approaches
  • Integrated learning approaches that work with other agent reasoning modules like negotiation, trust models, coordination, etc.
  • Supervised multi-agent learning
  • Reinforcement learning (single- and multi-agent)
  • Novel deep learning approaches for adaptive single- and multi-agent systems
  • Multi-objective optimisation in single- and multi-agent systems
  • Planning (single- and multi-agent)
  • Reasoning (single- and multi-agent)
  • Distributed learning
  • Adaptation and learning in dynamic environments
  • Evolution of agents in complex environments
  • Co-evolution of agents in a multi-agent setting
  • Cooperative exploration and learning to cooperate and collaborate
  • Learning trust and reputation
  • Communication restrictions and their impact on multi-agent coordination
  • Design of reward structure and fitness measures for coordination
  • Scaling learning techniques to large systems of learning and adaptive agents
  • Emergent behaviour in adaptive multi-agent systems
  • Game theoretical analysis of adaptive multi-agent systems
  • Neuro-control in multi-agent systems
  • Bio-inspired multi-agent systems
  • Applications of adaptive and learning agents and multi-agent systems to real world complex systems

Extended and revised versions of papers presented at the workshop will be eligible for inclusion in a journal special issue (see below).

Important Dates

  • Submission Deadline: 22 April 2018    extended to 15 May 2018 23:59 UTC
  • Notification of acceptance: 29 May 2018    13 June 2018
  • Camera-ready copies: 12 June 2018    27 June 2018
  • Workshop: 14/15 July 2018

Submission Details

Papers can be submitted through EasyChair.

We invite submission of original work, up to 8 pages in length (excluding references) in the ACM proceedings format (i.e. following the AAMAS formatting instructions). This includes work that has been accepted as a poster/extended abstract at any of the FAIM 2018 conferences. Additionally, we welcome submission of preliminary results, i.e. work-in-progress, as well as visionary outlook papers that lay out directions for future research in a specific area, both up to 6 pages in length, although shorter papers are very much welcome, and will not be judged differently. Finally, we also accept recently published journal papers in the form of a 2 page abstract.

All submissions will be peer-reviewed (single-blind). Accepted work will be allocated time for oral presentation during the workshop. Papers accepted at the workshop will also be eligible for inclusion in a special issue published after the workshop.

Journal Special Issue

We are delighted to announce that extended versions of all original contributions at ALA 2018 will be eligible for inclusion in a special issue of The Knowledge Engineering Review (Impact Factor 1.510). The deadline for submitting extended papers will be 1 October 2018.

We will post further details about the submission process and expected publication timeline here after the workshop.


Download schedule as .pdf

Saturday 14 July (Location: Room B4)

08:20 - 08:30 Welcome & Opening Remarks
08:30 - 10:00 Session I - Chair: Patrick Mannion
08:30 - 09:30 Invited Talk: Shimon Whiteson
Cooperative Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning
09:30 - 10:00
Contributed Talk: Diederik M. Roijers, Luisa M Zintgraf, Pieter Libin and Ann Nowe
Interactive Multi-Objective Reinforcement Learning in Multi-Armed Bandits for Any Utility Function (Best Paper Award Winner)
10:00 - 10:30 Coffee Break
10:30 - 12:45 Session II - Chair: Sam Devlin
10:30 - 11:00
Long Talk: Sergio Valcarcel Macua, Aleksi Tukiainen, Daniel Garcia-Ocaña Hernández, David Baldazo, Enrique Munoz de Cote and Santiago Zazo
Diff-DAC: Distributed Actor-Critic for Average Multitask Deep Reinforcement Learning
11:00 - 11:30
Long Talk: Diederik M. Roijers, Denis Steckelmacher and Ann Nowé.
Multi-objective Reinforcement Learning for the Expected Utility of the Return
11:30 - 11:45 Short Talk: Jaromir Janisch, Viliam Lisy and Tomas Pevny
Classification with Costly Features using Deep Reinforcement Learning
11:45 - 12:00 Short Talk: Arushi Jain, Khimya Khetarpal and Doina Precup
Safe Option-Critic: Learning Safety in the Option-Critic Architecture
12:00 - 12:15 Short Talk: Thommen Karimpanal George and Roland Bouffanais
Self-Organizing Maps as a Storage and Transfer Mechanism in Reinforcement Learning
12:15 - 12:30 Short Talk: Timothy Verstraeten and Ann Nowé
Reinforcement Learning for Fleet Applications using Coregionalized Gaussian Processes
12:30 - 12:45 Short Talk: Weixun Wang, Jianye Hao, Yixi Wang and Matthew Taylor
Achieving Cooperation Through Deep Multiagent Reinforcement Learning in Sequential Prisoner's Dilemmas
12:45 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:30 Session III - Chair: Matthew Taylor
14:00 - 14:30
Long Talk: Panayiotis Danassis and Boi Faltings
Courtesy as a Means to Anti-coordinate
14:30 - 14:45
Short Talk: Gabriel De O. Ramos, Bruno Castro Da Silva, Roxana Radulescu and Ana L. C. Bazzan
Learning System-Efficient Equilibria in Route Choice Using Tolls
14:45 - 15:00
Short Talk: Rachna Nanda Kumar, Chad Crawford and Sandip Sen
Effects of Parity, Sympathy and Reciprocity in Increasing Social Welfare
15:00 - 15:15
Short Talk: Jonathan Serrano, Eduardo Morales, Pablo Hernandez Leal, Daan Bloembergen and Michael Kaisers.
Learning on a budget using distributional RL
15:15 - 15:30
Short Talk: Daiki Kimura, Subhajit Chaudhury, Ryuki Tachibana and Sakyasingha Dasgupta
Internal Model from Observations for Reward Shaping
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee Break
16:00 - 18:00 Poster Session A
19:00 - ... ALA Social Event
The ALA social event will be held at the Mälarpaviljongen bar. Here is the location:

Sunday 15 July (Location: Room B4)

08:30 - 10:00 Session IV - Chair: Patrick Mannion
08:30 - 09:30 Invited Talk: Kagan Tumer
Current State and Future of AI: Separating Fact from Fiction
09:30 - 10:00
Long Talk: Bikramjit Banerjee and Matthew Taylor
Coordination Confidence based Human-Multi-Agent Transfer Learning for Collaborative Teams (Best Paper Award Nominee)
10:00 - 10:30 Coffee Break
10:30 - 12:45 Session V - Chair: Roxana Radulescu
10:30 - 11:00
Long Talk: Akshat Agarwal, Swaminathan Gurumurthy, Vasu Sharma and Katia Sycara.
Mind Your Language: Learning Visually Grounded Dialog in a Multi-Agent Setting
11:00 - 11:30
Long Talk: Mao Li, Tim Brys and Daniel Kudenko
Introspective Reinforcement Learning and Learning from Demonstration
11:30 - 11:45 Short Talk: Mao Li, Yi Wei and Daniel Kudenko
Reinforcement learning from multiple experts demonstrations
11:45 - 12:00 Short Talk: Karl Mason, Jim Duggan and Enda Howley
Maze Navigation using Neural Networks Evolved with Novelty Search and Differential Evolution
12:00 - 12:15 Short Talk: Richard Klima, Daan Bloembergen, Michael Kaisers and Karl Tuyls
Learning robust policies when losing control
12:15 - 12:30 Short Talk: Eric Klinkhammer, Connor Yates, Yathartha Tuladhar and Kagan Tumer
Learning in Complex Domains: Leveraging Multiple Rewards through Alignment
12:30 - 12:45 Short Talk: Jessie Huang, Fa Wu, Doina Precup and Yang Cai
Learning safe policies with expert guidance
12:45 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:30 Session VI - Chair: Enda Howley
14:00 - 14:30
Long Talk: Sammie Katt, Frans Oliehoek and Christopher Amato
Efficient Exploitation of Factored Domains in Bayesian Reinforcement Learning for POMDPs
14:30 - 15:00
Long Talk: Biswarup Bhattacharya, Han Ching Ou, Arunesh Sinha, Sze-Chuan Suen, Bistra Dilkina and Milind Tambe
Repeated Active Screening of Networks for Diseases
15:00 - 15:30
Panel Discussion: Sam Devlin, Ann Nowé, Matt Taylor
Establishing a Career in AI
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee Break
16:00 - 18:00 Awards, closing remarks and ALA 2019
Poster Session B

Poster Sessions

The papers which are accepted for a poster presentation only are listed below. Authors who have either a long or short talk may optionally also present it in poster form, during the poster session on the same day as their talk is scheduled.

Poster Session A - Saturday 14 July 16:00 to 18:00

Poster Session B - Sunday 15 July 16:00 to 18:00

Invited Talks

Shimon Whiteson

Affiliation: University of Oxford


Bio: Shimon Whiteson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford and the Chief Scientist and Co-Founder of Latent Logic Ltd. His research focuses on deep reinforcement learning and learning from demonstration, with applications in robotics and video games. He completed his doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin in 2007. He spent eight years as an Assistant and then an Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam before joining Oxford as an Associate Professor in 2015. He was awarded a Starting Grant from the European Research Council in 2014 and a Google Faculty Research Award in 2017.

Talk Title: Cooperative Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning

Kagan Tumer

Affiliation: Oregon State University


Bio: Dr. Kagan Tumer is the Director of Collaborative Robotics and Intelligent Systems (CoRIS) Institute at Oregon State University. His research focuses on long term autonomy and AI in unstructured environments, with an emphasis on "what" AI systems need to do rather than "how" they do it. His work has been applied to multi-robot coordination, air traffic management, and unmanned aerial vehicle control. Kagan received his PhD from The University of Texas, Austin, and spent nine years at NASA Ames Research Center as a researcher and group lead. His work has led to one patent and over two hundred publications, including three edited books and best paper awards (AAMAS 2007, GECCO 2012). He is an associate editor of the Journal on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, and was the program co-chair of the 2011 Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems Conference (AAMAS 2011).

Talk Title: Current State and Future of AI: Separating Fact from Fiction

Program Committee

  • Baris Akgün, Koç University, TR
  • Adrian Agogino, NASA Ames Research Center, USA
  • Roland Bouffanais, Singapore University of Technology and Design, SG
  • Tim Brys, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BE
  • Jen Jen Chung, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, CH
  • Chad Crawford, University of Tulsa, USA
  • William Curran, Oregon State University, USA
  • Felipe Leno da Silva, University of São Paulo, BR
  • Sam Devlin, Microsoft Research, UK
  • Kyriakos Efthymiadis, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BE
  • Ahmad A. Al Sallab, Valeo, EG
  • Matthew Gombolay, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • Brent Harrison, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
  • Mark Ho, Brown University, USA
  • B. Ravi Kiran, AKKA, FR
  • Richard Klima, University of Liverpool, UK
  • Matt Knudson, NASA Ames Research Center, USA
  • Pieter Liblin, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, IE
  • Robert Loftin, North Carolina State University, USA
  • Patrick MacAlpine, University of Texas at Austin, USA
  • Marlos Machado, University of Alberta, CA
  • Kleanthis Malialis, University of Cyprus, CY
  • Karl Mason, National University of Ireland Galway, IE
  • Felipe Meneguzzi, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, BR
  • Paul Miller, Glasgow Neuro LTD, UK
  • Enrique Munoz de Cote,, UK
  • Roxana Radulescu, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BE
  • Carrie Rebhuhn, Oregon State University, USA
  • Gabriel Ramos, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BE
  • Diederik Roijers, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BE
  • Fernando P. Santos, Technical University of Lisbon, PT
  • Francisco Santos, Universidade de Lisboa, PT
  • Aleksei Shpilman, JetBrains Research, RU
  • Jivko Sinapov, Tufts University, USA
  • Ibrahim Sobh, Valeo, EG
  • Peter Vamplew, Federation University Australia, AU
  • Timothy Verstraeten, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BE
  • Senthil Yogamani, Valeo Vision Systems, IE


This year's workshop is organised by:
Senior Steering Committee Members:
  • Enda Howley (National University of Ireland Galway, IE)
  • Daniel Kudenko (University of York, UK)
  • Ann Nowé (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BE)
  • Sandip Sen (University of Tulsa, USA)
  • Peter Stone (University of Texas at Austin, USA)
  • Matthew Taylor (Washington State University, USA)
  • Kagan Tumer (Oregon State University, USA)
  • Karl Tuyls (University of Liverpool, UK)


The ALA 2018 Best Paper Award is kindly sponsored by Valeo.



If you have any questions about the ALA workshop, please contact the organizers at:
ala.workshop.2018 AT

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