Call for Multimodal Grand Challenges

The International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI) is the premier international forum for multidisciplinary research on multimodal human-human and human-computer interaction, interfaces, and system development. Developing systems that can robustly understand human-human communication or respond to human input requires identifying the best algorithms and their failure modes. In fields such as computer vision, speech recognition, and computational linguistics for example, the availability of datasets and common tasks have led to great progress. We invite the ICMI community to collectively define and tackle the scientific Grand Challenges in our domain for the next 5 years. ICMI Multimodal Grand Challenges aim to inspire new ideas in the ICMI community and create momentum for future collaborative work. Analysis, synthesis, and interactive tasks are all possible. Grand Challenge participants will give a poster presentation during the main conference. Challenge papers will be indexed by ACM.

The grand challenge sessions will likely be held on November 12th 2016 before the ICMI main technical program. We invite organizers from various fields related to multimodal interaction to propose and run Grand Challenge events. We are looking for exciting and stimulating challenges including but not limited to the following categories:

  • Dataset-driven challenge. This challenge will provide a dataset that is exemplary of the complexities of current and future multimodal problems, and one or more multimodal tasks whose performance can be objectively measured. Participants in the Challenge will evaluate their methods against the challenge data in order to identify areas of strengths and weakness.
  • Use-case challenge. This challenge will provide an interactive problem system (e.g. dialog-based) and the associated resources, which can allow people to participate through the integration of specific modules or alternative full systems. Proposers should also establish systematic evaluation procedures.

We are also soliciting proposals that align with the theme of the conference which is machine learning for multimodal interactions.

Prospective organizers should submit a five-page maximum proposal containing the following information:

  • Title
  • Abstract appropriate for possible Web promotion of the Challenge
  • Detailed description of the challenge and its relevance to multimodal interaction
  • Plan for soliciting participation
  • Description of how submissions will be evaluated, and a list of proposed reviewers
  • Proposed schedule for releasing datasets (if applicable) and receiving submissions
  • Short biography of the organizers
  • Funding source (if any) that supports or could support the challenge organization.

Proposals will be evaluated based on originality, ambition, feasibility, and implementation plan. The ICMI organizers will offer support with basic logistics.

Important Dates and Contact Details

Proposals should be emailed to both ICMI 2016 Multimodal Grand Challenge Chairs, Dr. Hatice Gunes ( and Dr. Mohammad Soleymani ( Prospective organizers are also encouraged to contact the co-chairs if they have any questions. Continuation of or variants on the 2015 challenges are welcome, though we ask for submissions of this form to highlight the number of participants that attended during the previous year and describe what changes will be made from the previous year. Proposals are due by January 15th, 2016. Notifications will be sent on February 1st, 2016.

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