• selection of type of grammar—deterministic, stochastic, fuzzy, or a hybrid grammar,
• selection of level of descriptive complexity—string, tree, or graph grammar,
• selection of an optimal set of primitives—too many may lead to an unmanageably large set of rules, while too few may lack enough descriptive power,
• grammatical inference (GI)—learning the rules of the grammar for a pattern class from sample patterns, and
• parsing—finding out if a given sentence is a member of the language generated by a certain grammar.
• M. Basu is with the CISE/CCF, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230. E-mail: email@example.com.
• H. Bunke is with the Institute of Informatics and Applied Mathematics, University of Bern, Neubrueckstr. 10, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland.
• A. Del Bimbo is with the Dipartimento di Sistemi e Informatica, Universitá degli Studi di Firenze, Via S. Marta 3-50139 Firenze, Italy.
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Mitra Basu received the PhD degree in electrical and computer engineering from Purdue University. Dr. Basu was one of the last doctoral students of late Professor King-Sun Fu. Since then, she has been with the Electrical Engineering Department at the City College of the City University of New York (CUNY). She holds joint appointments at the New York Center for Biomedical Engineering and the Doctoral Faculty of Computer Science at CUNY. She works and publishes in the areas of pattern recognition, learning systems, computing in biological organisms, and bioinspired computing. She is the guest editor of a special issue on grammatical inference techniques and applications that will appear in Pattern Recognition Journal in 2005. She is editing a book titled Data Complexity in Pattern Recognition (Springer Verlag), also in 2005. Since 2002, she has been on loan to the US National Science Foundation (NSF). At the NSF, she directs Emerging Models and Technologies in Computation, a new funding program on bio, nano, and quantum computing that she initiated in the Computer, Information Science, and Engineering directorate.
Horst Bunke received the MS and PhD degrees in computer science from the University of Erlangen, Germany. In 1984, he joined the University of Bern, Switzerland, where he is a professor in the Computer Science Department. He was department chairman from 1992-1996, dean of the faculty of science from 1997 to 1998, and a member of the executive committee of the faculty of science from 2001 to 2003. From 1998 to 2000, he served as first vice president of the International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR). In 2000, he also was acting president of this organization. He is a fellow of the IAPR, former editor-in-charge of the International Journal of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence, editor-in-chief of the journal Electronic Letters of Computer Vision and Image Analysis, editor-in-chief of the book series on Machine Perception and Artificial Intelligence by World Scientific, an associate editor of Acta Cybernetica, the International Journal of Document Analysis and Recognition, and Pattern Analysis and Applications. He has held visiting positions at the IBM Los Angeles Scientific Center (1989), the University of Szeged, Hungary (1991), the University of South Florida at Tampa (1991, 1996, 1998-2004), the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (1994), Kagawa University, Takamatsu, Japan (1995), and Curtin University, Perth, Australia (1999). He served as a cochair of the Fourth International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition held in Ulm, Germany, 1997 and as a track cochair of the 16th and 17th International Conference on Pattern Recognition held in Quebec City, Canada and Cambridge, United Kingdom, in 2002 and 2004, respectively. Dr. Bunke has been on the program and organization committee of many other conferences and served as a referee for numerous journals and scientific organizations. He has published more than 450 publications, including 31 authored, coauthored, edited, or coedited books and special editions of journals.
Alberto Del Bimbo is a full professor of computer engineering at the University of Florence, Italy. From 1997 to 2000, he was the director of the Department of Systems and informatics at the University of Florence. From 1998 to the present, he has been the director of the Master in Multimedia program, and from 2000 to the present has been the deputy rector of the University of Florence, in charge of Research and Innovation Transfer. His scientific interests are pattern recognition, image databases, and multimedia. He has delved into object recognition and image sequence analysis, image and video database content-based retrieval, and advanced man-machine interaction. Professor Del Bimbo is the author of more than 180 publications that have appeared in the most distinguished international journals and conference proceedings. He is the author of the monograph Visual Information Retrieval on content-based retrieval from image and video databases. He has also been the guest editor of many special issues on image databases in many highly respected journals. He was the general chairman of the Ninth IAPR International Conference Image Analysis and Processing, ICIAP '97, Florence 1997, and of the Sixth IEEE International Conference Multimedia Computing and Systems, ICMCS '99, Florence 1999. He was the president of IAPR from 1996 to 2000, member-at-large of IEEE Pubs Board from 1999 to 2001, and was appointed a fellow of the IAPR, the International Association for Pattern Recognition, in 2000. Professor Del Bimbo is presently an associate editor of Pattern Recognition, Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, Multimedia Tools and Applications Journal, Pattern Analysis and Applications, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, and IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence.