CoCo @ NIPS 2016
Cognitive Computation: Integrating Neural and Symbolic Approaches

Workshop at NIPS 2016, Barcelona, Spain
9th of December 2016

Invited Speakers

Barbara Hammer, Bielefeld University.
Risto Miikkulainen, University of Texas at Austin & Sentient Technologies, Inc.
Dan Roth, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Kristina Toutanova, Microsoft Research.

Discussion Panelists

Yoshua Bengio, University of Montreal.
Alessio Lomuscio, Imperial College London.
Gary Marcus, New York University & Uber AI Labs
Stephen Muggleton, Imperial College London.
Michael Witbrock, IBM Research.

Workshop Pre-Proceedings

Pre-Proceedings - all contributed papers (.pdf)

CoCo @ NIPS 2016 Keynote Speakers, Panelists & Friends

Group picture speakers and panelists
Left to right: Risto Miikkulainen, Gary Marcus, Greg Wayne, Stephen Muggleton, Antoine Bordes, Leo de Penning, Tarek R. Besold, Dan Roth, Barbara Hammer, Alessio Lomuscio, Michael Witbrock, Jay McClelland, Artur d'Avila Garcez, James Davidson, Isaac Noble, Kristina Toutanova

Schedule (Friday, December 9, 2016)


DeepMind Technologies Ltd.
Google DeepMind
Illuminoo BV
Illuminoo BV

Additional support generously provided by Facebook.

Mission Statement

While early work on knowledge representation and inference was primarily symbolic, the corresponding approaches subsequently fell out of favor, and were largely supplanted by connectionist methods. In this workshop, we will work to close the gap between the two paradigms, and aim to formulate a new unified approach that is inspired by our current understanding of human cognitive processing. This is important to help improve our understanding of Neural Information Processing and build better Machine Learning systems, including the integration of learning and reasoning in dynamic knowledge-bases, and reuse of knowledge learned in one application domain in analogous domains.

The workshop brings together established leaders and promising young scientists in the fields of neural computation, logic and artificial intelligence, knowledge representation, natural language understanding, machine learning, cognitive science and computational neuroscience. Invited lectures by senior researchers will be complemented with presentations based on contributed papers reporting recent work (following an open call for papers) and a poster session, giving ample opportunity for participants to interact and discuss the complementary perspectives and emerging approaches.

The workshop targets a single broad theme of general interest to the vast majority of the NIPS community, namely translations between connectionist models and symbolic knowledge representation and reasoning for the purpose of achieving an effective integration of neural learning and cognitive reasoning, called neural-symbolic computing. The study of neural-symbolic computing is now an established topic of wider interest to NIPS with topics that are relevant to almost everyone studying neural information processing.

Keywords: neural-symbolic computing; language processing; cognitive agents; multimodal learning; deep networks; symbol manipulation; variable binding; memory-based networks; dynamic knowledge-bases; integration of learning and reasoning; explainable AI.

Call for Papers

We invite submission of papers dealing with topics related to the research questions discussed in the workshop. The reported work can range from theoretical/foundational research to reports on applications and/or implemented systems.

We explicitly also encourage the submission of more controversial papers which can serve as basis for open discussions during the event.

Besides the list of keywords already stated above, possible topics of interest include but are (by far!) not limited to:

Submission instructions

Please note that at least one author of each accepted paper must register for the event and be available to present the paper at the workshop.


Accepted papers will be published in official workshop proceedings submitted to Authors of the best papers will be invited to submit a revised and extended version of their papers to a journal special issue after the workshop.

Important Dates

Deadline for paper submission (EXTENDED): October 14, 2016
Notification of paper acceptance (DELAYED): November 2, 2016
Camera-ready paper due: November 14, 2016
Workshop date: December 9, 2016
NIPS 2015 main conference: December 5-8, 2016


The workshop is open to anybody, please register via NIPS 2016.

Workshop Organisers

Tarek R. Besold (University of Bremen, Germany)
Antoine Bordes (Facebook AI Research, USA)
Artur d'Avila Garcez (City University London, UK)
Greg Wayne (Google DeepMind, UK)

Additional Information

General questions concerning the workshop should be addressed to Tarek R. Besold at Tarek(dot)Besold(at)uni(hyphen)bremen(dot)de.
This workshop is conceptually related to the series of International Workshops on Neural-Symbolic Learning and Reasoning (NeSy).
Please also feel free to join the neural-symbolic integration mailing list for announcements and discussions - it's a low traffic mailing list.