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This volume contains all the papers presented at the Seventh International Workshop on Algorithmic Learning Theory (ALT '96), held at the Coogee Holiday Inn, Sydney, Australia, during October 23 - 25, 1996. The ALT '96 workshop was collocated with the 1996 Pacific Rim Knowledge Acquisition Workshop.

The ALT '96 program committee selected 16 long papers and 8 short papers from 41 submissions. The short papers were also discussed at a poster session. Additionally, four invited talks by J. Ross Quinlan of Sydney University, Takeshi Shinohara of the Kyushu Institute of Technology, Leslie Valiant of Harvard University, and Paul Vitanyi of CWI and the University of Amsterdam were featured at the workshop.

This workshop is the seventh in a series of annual conferences established in 1990. The ALT series has focussed on all areas related to algorithmic learning theory including (but not limited to) the theory of machine learning, the design and analysis of learning algorithms, computational logic of/for machine discovery, inductive inference of recursive functions and recursively enumerable languages, learning via queries, learning by artificial and biological neural networks, pattern recognition, learning by analogy, inductive logic programming, statistical learning, Bayesian, MDL, and MML estimation, robotics, application of learning to databases, and gene analysis.

The ALT series has endeavored to bring together many disparate areas of algorithmic learning under one umbrella. These meetings have fostered exchanges of ideas that have contributed to many advances. The continuing success of these gatherings has been admirably managed by its steering committee, consisting of Setsuo Arikawa (Chair, Kyushu University), Takashi Yokomori (University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo), Hiroshi Imai (University of Tokyo), Teruyasu Nishizawa (Nigata University), Akito Sakurai (Hitachi, Tokyo), Taiske Sato (Tokyo Institute of Technology), Takeshi Shinohara (Kyushu Institute of Technology), Masayuki Numao (Tokyo Institute of Technology), and Yuji Takada (Fujitsu, Fukuoka).

ALT '96 was sponsored by the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence (JSAI) and the Departments of Artificial Intelligence and Information Science in the School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales (UNSW). Cooperation also was provided by the IFIP Working Group 1.4 and the Australian Computer Society.

ALT '96 was chaired by Setsuo Arikawa (Kyushu University, Fukuoka), and the Local Arrangements Chair was Achim Hoffmann (University of New South Wales, Sydney). The program committee was chaired by Arun Sharma (University of New South Wales).

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the members of the Program Committee, which consisted of:

H. Arimura (Kyushu Univ., Japan)
J. Balcazar (UPC, Barcelona)
P. Bartlett (ANU, Australia)
W. Cohen (AT & T, USA)
S. Ben David (Technion, Israel)
H. Imai (Univ. of Tokyo, Japan)
K.P. Jantke (TH Leipzig, Germany)
S. Kobayashi (Univ. Elec.-Comm., Japan)
M. Numao (Tokyo Inst. of Tech.)
S. Jain (National Univ. Singapore)
S. Lange (TH Leipzig, Germany)
L. De Raedt (Leuven, Belgium)
Y. Sakakibara (Tokyo Denki Univ.)
M. Sato (Osaka Pref. Univ., Japan)
A. Sharma (UNSW, Australia)
O. Watanabe (Tokyo Inst. of Tech.)
K. Yamanishi (NEC, Japan)
T. Zeugmann (Kyushu Univ., Japan)

The program committee members and the referees enlisted by them put in a lot of effort in ensuring that the workshop had high technical quality. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the following referees.

Martin Anthony Mostefa Golea Atsuyoshi Nakamura
Jun Arima D. Guijarro Mark Pendrith
Mike Bain Kouichi Hirata Claude Sammut
Jonathan Baxter Achim Hoffmann Shin-ichi Shimozono
J. Castro Hiroki Ishizaka Ayumi Shinohara
Hendrik Blockeel Takeshi Koshiba Takeshi Shinohara
Luc Dehaspe Eyal Kushilevitz Andrew Taylor
Carlos Domingo Wee Sun Lee Tatsuie Tsukiji
Saso Dzeroski Masahiro Matsuoka Mitsuo Wakatsuki
Nadav Eiron Ron Meir Robert Williamson
Ryoichi Fujino Tetsuhiro Miyahara Michiyo Yamaguchi
R. Gavalda Y. Mukouchi Takashi Yokomori

We would like to thank everyone who made this meeting possible: the authors for submitting papers, the invited speakers for accepting our invitation, the steering committee, and the sponsors for their support. Special thanks are due to Achim Hoffmann, the Local Arrangements Chair, for his untiring effort in organization and assistance with the preparation of the proceedings.

We would also like to thank Klaus P. Jantke for assisting us via his experience in the publication of previous ALT proceedings, Takeshi Shinohara and Thomas Zeugmann for invaluable assistance from their last year's experience as Conference Chair and Program Chair, Charles Willock for managing the ALT '96 web site, Shinichi Shimozono for help with the ALT '96 logo, Mark Peters for designing the ALT '96 poster, and Alfred Hofmann of Springer-Verlag for assistance with preparing the proceedings.

Finally we would like to thank Paul Compton, Claude Sammut, and Arthur Ramer of the School of Computer Science and Engineering at UNSW for their support at the conference.

Fukuoka, August 1996 Setsuo Arikawa
Sydney, August 1996 Arun Sharma

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