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This volume contains the papers presented at the 16th Annual International Conference on Algorithmic Learning Theory (ALT 2005), which was held in Singapore (Republic of Singapore), October 8--11, 2005. The main objective of the conference is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of the theoretical foundations of machine learning as well as their relevance to practical applications. The conference was co-located with the 8th International Conference on Discovery Science (DS 2005). The conference was also held in conjunction with the centennial celebrations of the National University of Singapore.

The volume includes 30 technical contributions, which were selected by the program committee from 98 submissions. It also contains the ALT 2005 invited talks presented by Chih-Jen Lin (National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan) on “Training Support Vector Machines via SMO-type Decomposition Methods,” and by Vasant Honavar (Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA) on “Algorithms and Software for Collaborative Discovery from Autonomous, Semantically Heterogeneous, Distributed, Information Sources.”

Furthermore, this volume includes an abstract of the joint invited talk with DS 2005 presented by Gary L. Bradshaw (Mississippi State University, Starkville, USA) on “Invention and Artificial Intelligence,” and abstracts of the invited talks for DS 2005 presented by Ross D. King (The University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK) on “The Robot Scientist Project,” and by Neil Smalheiser (University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, USA) on “The Arrowsmith Project: 2005 Status Report.” The complete versions of these papers are published in the DS 2005 proceedings (Lecture Notes in Computer Science Vol. 3735).

Since 1999, ALT has been awarding the E. Mark Gold Award for the most outstanding paper by a student author . This year the award was given to Rotem Bennet for his paper, “Learning Attribute-Efficiently with Corrupt Oracles,” co-authored by Nader Bshouty.

This conference was the 16th in a series of annual conferences established in 1990. Continuation of the ALT series is supervised by its steering committee consisting of: Thomas Zeugmann (Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan), Chair; Arun Sharma (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia), Co-chair; Naoki Abe (IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown, USA); Klaus Peter Jantke (FIT Leipzig e.V., Germany); Roni Khardon (Tufts University, Medford, USA); Phil Long (Columbia University, New York, USA); Hiroshi Motoda (Osaka University, Japan); Akira Maruoka (Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan); Luc De Raedt (Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg, Germany); Takeshi Shinohara (Kyushu Institute of Technology, Iizuka, Japan); Osamu Watanabe (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan).

We would like to thank all the individuals and institutions that contributed to the success of the conference: the authors for submitting papers; the invited speakers for accepting our invitation and lending us their insight into recent developments in their research areas; the Lee Foundation and AOARD (Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development, US Air Force) for their generous financial support; the Division of Computer Science of Hokkaido University for maintaining the ALT 2005 Web-page together with software and for providing the poster; the Mathematics Department of of Ruhr-University Bochum for printing and distributing the posters; the Institute for Theoretical Computer Science, the University of Lübeck, where Frank Balbach provided useful software; and the School of Computing, National University of Singapore for providing secretarial support, seed funding and equipment; as well as MBZ Marketing Büro Zeugmann for making the ALT 2005 Logo.

We are very grateful to Thomas Zeugmann for his continuous support including maintenance of the ALT 2005 Program Committee Web-page, and for providing his experience and active help in the process of publishing the proceedings.

Furthermore, we would like to express our gratitude to all program committee members for their hard work in reviewing the submitted papers and participating in on-line discussions. We are also grateful to the external referees whose reviews made a considerable contribution to this process.

We would also like to thank the DS 2005 chairs Achim Hoffmann (PC Chair, University of New South Wales, Australia), Tobias Scheffer (PC Chair, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany) and Hiroshi Motoda (Conference Chair, Osaka University, Japan) for their effort in coordinating with ALT 2005, and Lee Wee Sun (National University of Singapore, Singapore) for his excellent work as the local arrangements chair. Last but not least, Springer provided excellent support in preparing this volume.

August 2005 Sanjay Jain
Hans Ulrich Simon
Etsuji Tomita

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