PAutomaC Last Call for Participation

Probabilistic Automata learning Competition
— Please, accept our apologies in case of multiple receptions —

This last call advertises that the competition data sets are available on its website since May 20th.

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. Easy to interpret, their original design is usually unknown in many application fields.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 processing.
– 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 generation.

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.


– Before May 20th: training phase
– May 20th: Competition data sets are available
– June 30th: Competition is over
– July 20th: Short papers are submitted
– September 5-8th: a special session takes place duting 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 European network of Excellence PASCAL 2 will help best participants to travel to the conference.
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:
Contact email: