[MaPhySto logo] [MPS NEWS]
Vol.2, Issue No. 2. December 2003

Funded by The Danish National Research Foundation

gR2003 - Workshop on Computational Aspects of Graphical Models, Aalborg, 17-20 September, 2003

Group Photo
Group photo

There were a total of 42 participants and the workshop covered a broad range of aspects, including theory, applications and software development. More information is available from the workshop web page.

Below are comments and impressions from some of the participants

Kim Emil Andersen, Aalborg University, Denmark, writes:

"The first MaPhySto workshop on computational aspects of graphical models was held at the lovely surroundings of The Department of Mathematical Sciences, Aalborg University. The workshop was held in a relaxed and very stimulating athmosphere and the diversity of scientific experience and knowledge represented by the workshop participants gave rise to many fruitful and lively discussions, also during the coffee breaks and the interesting excursions to Lindholm Høje and the Naval Museum of Aalborg. Having attended several MaPhySto workshops in other areas, I had high expectations for this workshop on computational aspects of graphical models. I am pleased to say that this workshop exceeded my expectations in both the quality of presentations and the degree of interaction between researchers from different fields. "

Viktor Erukhimov, Intel Russia Research Center, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, writes:

"The workshop, according to the announcement, was related to a software R toolbox for working with graphical models. Not surprisingly the most part of the participants were statisticians with few exceptions including myself. The range of talks was very broad, from modeling issues (for instance Peter Green talk on using chain graphs in statistical modeling) to overviews of software packages either related to graphical models (Coco talk by Jens Henrik Badsberg as one example) or not related (Orientlib talk by Duncan Murdoch). In my opinion the workshop provided an excellent overview of free graphical model tools and of different applications of graphical models. I think it was very nice to have so many authors of graphical models toolkits sitting in one room together with their current or potential users. I also work on a graphical models toolkit and I really enjoyed talking to people from a different community than I am from and finding their requirements for a modeling tool. And it is necessary to mention a very warm and friendly welcome of participants in Aalborg by the organizing committee, for me this is really a highlight of this workshop. And it was nearly for the first time that I didn't experience a single organizational issue with the trip and participation."

hardworking participants
hardworking participants

Friedrich Leisch, Technical University of Vienna, Austria, writes:

"The gR 2003 workshop on Computational Aspects of Graphical Models had good mixture of theory, applications and implementations to form a starting point for getting graphical models into R. Compared with gR 2002, which mainly gave an overview of the field, gR 2003 was much more focused on how to get going in the future. Coming from a mathematical/computational background myself, the talks on theory and applications helped me a lot to get a deeper understanding for what is needed in oder to provide a state of the art reference implementation of graphical models in the R environment. The next step will be to build an active developers community that share both their experience and code to enable the rapid development of extensible, scalable, and interoperable software. Last but not least I want to thank the organizers for all their work, the warm and welcoming atmosphere at Aalborg sparked a lot of interesting and fruitful discussions."

Report by Steffen Lauritzen