The Fourth Bayesian Modelling Applications Workshop

during UAI 2006

July 13th, 2006
Cambridge, MA, USA

Special theme: Bayesian Models meet Cognition


Workshop program

09:00 - 09:10 Welcome
Moderator: Linda C. van der Gaag

09:10 - 10:40 Session I: Human factors in output
Moderator: Kathryn B. Laskey

"Bayesian Networks: A Teacher's View"
Russell G. Almond, Valerie J. Shute, Jody S. Underwood, and Juan-Diego Zapata-Rivera

"Verifying Monotonicity of Bayesian Networks with Domain Experts"
Linda C. van der Gaag, Petra L. Geenen, and Hermina J.M. Tabachneck-Schijf

"Smart Diagnostics Pilot: Design Dynamics"
John Mark Agosta and Thomas Gardos

10:40 - 11:00 Coffee break

11:00 - 12:30 Session II: Modelling human factors
Moderator:Judy Goldsmith

"Modeling Human Reasoning about Meta-Information"
Sean Guarino, Jonathan Pfautz, Zach Cox, and Emilie Roth

"Bayesian Model of the Effect of Personality in Predicting Decisionmaker Behavior"
Paul J. Sticha, Dennis M. Buede, and Richard L. Rees

"Applications of Bayesian Belief Networks in Social Network Analysis"
David Koelle, Jonathan Pfautz, Michael Farry, Zach Cox, Geoffrey Catto, and Joseph Campolongo

12:30 - 14:00 Lunch

14:00 - 15:30 Session III: Human factors in construction and maintenance

"Bayesian Ontologies in AI Systems"
Paulo C. G. da Costa, Kathryn B. Laskey, and Ghazi AlGhamdi

"Automated Knowledge Elicitation and Flowchart Optimization for Problem Diagnosis"
Alina Beygelzimer, Mark Brodie, Jonathan Lenchner, and Irina Rish

"A Benchmark Model for Decision-Theoretic Planning with Constraints"
Kendra Renee Gehlbach, Brandon Laracuente, Cynthia Isenhour, Judy Goldsmith, Beth Goldstein, and Miroslaw Truszczynski

15:30 - 15:50 Coffee break

15:50 - 16:50 Session IV: Human factors through the engineering process
Moderator:Russell Almond

"When Domains Require Modeling Adaptations"
Krol Kevin Mathias, Cynthia Isenhour, Alex Dekhtyar, Judy Goldsmith, and Beth Goldstein

"Preventing Knowledge Transfer Errors: Probabilistic Decision Support Systems Through the Users' Eyes"
Hermina J.M. Tabachneck-Schijf and Petra L. Geenen

16:50 - 18:00 Discussion and closing
Moderator: Linda C. van der Gaag
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Workshop proceedings

The workshop proceedings, containing the papers presented at the workshop, can be found here.
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Workshop location

The UAI 2006 conference will be held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA. The Bayesian Modelling Applications Workshop is going to be located in room E51-145, which is located in the Tang Center, the same building as the main conference (see It is on the 2nd level (as is the main conference). The entrance to use is the one located on 2 Amherst Street (on the corner of Wadsworth and Amherst Street).
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Call for contributions


As in the previous years, the goal of the workshop is to provide a focused, informal forum for a fruitful exchange of research questions and insights, of experiences, and of methodologies and techniques among theorists, practitioners and tool developers in the application of Bayesian models to a wide range of application areas. As an additional avenue of exchange, eligible contributions will be compiled into proceedings in addition to the overall conference publication. Based on the response at the workshop, papers will be selected for later publication in a special handbook or journal issue.

Special topic area

This year we are especially encouraging contributions that address our special theme Bayesian models meet Cognition. In particular, we are looking for papers that focus on issues in the application of Bayesian models that involve human factors. Examples include, but are not restricted to, the following issues.

In the construction of a Bayesian model, often both its graphical structure and its associated numerical parameters are acquired from human experts. For this purpose, dedicated elicitation techniques are being designed. Do these techniques forestall, for example, biases and over-commitments of the resulting model? Are these techniques easy to use, taking relatively little time on the part of the experts? Do the techniques scale up to building large models? How can knowledge obtained from multiple experts be combined? How can experts be involved in assessing the quality of the resulting model?

Bayesian models usually are developed with a "real world" setting in mind and are tailored to this setting. The model will be consulted by users who have to enter data, to understand the output, to assess the validity and robustness of the output, and to receive support in their reasoning and decision-making processes. How can data entry be organised and supported, to allow for easy use of the model? How can the output of the model be presented to the user, to allow for easy and correct interpretation? How can the output of the model be explained to the user? How can the model support "what-if" reasoning processes?

General focus

The emphasis of this year's workshop is on cognitive issues that have to be addressed when developing and using Bayesian models. We are encouraging submissions that address fundamental issues, present concrete solutions, describe experiments, or analyse open problems, within a broad range of application areas involving diagnosis, optimisation, temporal reasoning, spatial reasoning, and forecasting.

In addition to submissions addressing human factors, we also welcome contributions to the overall focus of Bayesian modelling. Submissions addressing novel applications are particularly encouraged.


The workshop will take place on Thursday, July 13th, the day of the UAI tutorials. The workshop will begin with each participant giving a short introduction to themselves and their work. These brief introductions will be followed by sessions devoted to cognitive issues in developing and using Bayesian models, consisting of presentations and open discussions. We will conclude with a plenary panel discussion which will sum up the days activities and talk about possible plans for next year.


The workshop will run on the premises of the general UAI conference. A registration fee for the workshop will be required in addition to the main conference registration.

To contribute

Persons desiring to contribute should prepare a contribution (3 - 8 pages, preferrably in the same format as for the overall conference) and a short statement of interest, explaining their background, the applications in which they have contributed and the characteristics of the domain in which they work. The contribution should raise questions and offer results, which the participant can speak about. All participants will be expected to have material to present for the workshop. Participants are encouraged to apply jointly with members of other disciplines with whom they have collaborated. Send all submissions and enquires to uai-workshop [at]

Participation will be limited to 30 individuals. All members of the workshop committee who would like to attend are expected to qualify as participants. Selection will be done by the committee's decision of the mix of individuals who are likely to generate the most constructive presentations and discussions.

Workshop committee

Linda van der Gaag, Utrecht University, Chair
Russell Almond, Educational Testing Service, Co-Chair

John Mark Agosta, Intel Corporation, Chair Emeritus
Marek Druzdzel, University of Pittsburgh
Judy Goldsmith, University of Kentucky
Oscar Kipersztok, The Boeing Company
Kathryn Blackmond Laskey, George Mason University
Hermi Schijf, Utrecht University

Important dates

Submission of contributions: April 21st, 2006
Notification of selections by the organising committee: May 12th, 2006
Deadline for contributions to the proceedings: June 23rd, 2006
Date of the workshop: July 13th, 2006
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Previous editions

The Third Bayesian Modeling Applications Workshop, during UAI-05.
The Second Bayesian Modeling Applications Workshop, during UAI-04.
Bayesian Modeling Applications Workshop, during UAI-03.
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Send all enquiries and submissions to: uai-workshop [at]
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Last updated: July 6 2006 by Eveline Helsper