PAutomaC CFP: Probabilistic Automata learning Competition

PAutomaC Call for Participation
Probabilistic Automata learning Competition
— Please, accept our apologies in case of multiple receptions —

PAutomaC is a competition about learning probabilistic finite state models
(PFA, HMM, WA, …). These machines are well-known models for characterizing
the behaviour of systems or processes. A nice feature of these automaton
models is that it is easy to interpret. Unfortunately, in many
applications the original design of a system is unknown. That is why
learning approaches has been used, for instance:
– To modelize DNA or protein sequences in bioinformatics.
– To find patterns underlying different sounds for speech processing.
– To develop morphological or phonological rules for natural language
– To modelize unknown mechanical processes in Physics
– To discover the exact environment of robots.
– To detect Anomaly for detecting intrusions in computer security.
– To do behavioural modelling of users in applications ranging from web
systems to the automotive sector.
– To discover the structure of music styles for music classification and
In all such cases, an automaton model is learned from observations of the
system, i.e., a finite set of strings. As the data gathered from
observations is usually unlabelled, the standard method of dealing with
this situation is to assume a probabilistic automaton model, i.e., a
distribution over strings.
This is what the competition is about.


– March: PAutomaC is open, anyone can register, develop and test their
algorithms on training data sets that are available, submit their results
to get feedbacks.
– May 20th: Competition data sets are available
– June 30th: Competition is over
– July 20th: Short papers are submitted
– September 12-15th: special session at ICGI’12 in Washington, DC, USA
( )

Prizes and publications:

Our sponsor CASL (http:// will award a prize of
$500 to the winner of the competition.
Participants are encouraged to submit an extended abstract and to present
their innovations at the PAutomaC special session that will be organised
during ICGI 2012.
The winner is expected to submit a paper to the Machine Learning Journal
special issue that will follow the ICGI 2012 conference.

Scientific committee:

– Peter Adriaans, Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands
– Dana Angluin, Yale University, USA
– Alexander Clark, Royal Holloway University of London, UK
– Pierre Dupont, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium.
– Ricard Gavalda, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain
– Colin de la Higuera, Université de Nantes, France
– Jean-Christophe Janodet, Université d’Evry, France
– Tim Oates, University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA
– Jose Oncina, Universitat de Alicante, Spain
– Menno van Zaanen, Tilburg University, The Netherlands

All informations about the competition can be found on its website:
Email contact: