After workshops at AAAI and IJCAI, in the first CONTEXT
conference was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1997. Since CONTEXT-97,
the format of all CONTEXT conferences has been as a set of
plenary paper sessions, since interdisciplinarity was the main
concern, and the assumption was that all attendees would be
interested in all or most aspects of context across domains.
A problem with this approach, however, is that it potentially limits the number of participants: those researchers who are interested in using context in within a single discipline or across only a few disciplines may feel that their work would not appeal to the entire audience of the conference. A second problem is that they are right: when such work is accepted, a substantial portion of the participants may not be interested.
However, many researchers are working in and/or interested in contextual issues that span only one or a few disciplines. In 2005, the conference introduced an associated workshop series in an attempt to serve the needs of such researchers and to allow more specific work a venue for discussion and possible publication. Even so, over time, the conference series has seen a drift toward discipline-centric work in context being submitted (and presented), very often driven by the interests of the organizers.
Simultaneously, the topic of context has become increasingly important in many fields, some of which are very new. Although initially a substantial number of papers presented at the CONTEXT conferences had to do with what context as a concept is and how best to model it in a theoretical sense, increasingly research is more focused on developing practical ways to represent and use contextual knowledge. For example, new technologies and disciplines, such as context-aware application and ubiquitous computing, are more concerned with how to best reason about and use knowledge about the context.
Consequently, the conference must address the needs of those who are interested in context in general and across disciplines as well as those whose interests are narrower. Toward this end, CONTEXT-17 will have a new structure that seeks to encompass this range of interests.
New Conference Structure
CONTEXT-17 will have three types of sessions. One type, the plenary paper sessions, will contain papers that are broadly interdisciplinary and potentially of interest to everyone attending the conference. A second session type, called special topic paper sessions, will group together papers that, while still being accessible to a broad audience, are focused on a subset of disciplines or domains and hence may be of more limited interest. The third kind of session consists of even more focused workshops around particular narrow topics or problems of interest, often within a single discipline.
A paper may be submitted to the main conference or to a workshop. If submitted to and selected for presentation at the main conference, the choice of session type will be determined by the scientific committee (SC) based on assessing the paper's likely appeal to a broad as opposed to a narrower audience. Papers that are not accepted to the main conference may, however, be appropriate for a workshop. In this case, upon consultation with the workshop organizer(s), the author(s) will be contacted with that suggestion. A paper submitted to a workshop may similarly be judged to be of broader interest, and so (again in consultation with the workshop organizer(s)) the author may be offered acceptance of his/her paper to the main conference program.