Report: ILP tutorial at PKDD-99

Hendrik Blockeel

On September 15 a tutorial day on knowledge discovery and related topics was given in Prague, Czech Republic, as prelude to the Fourth Conference on Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases (PKDD-99) which was held there from September 16 till 18. One of the tutorials given on that day was on ILP : ``Inductive Logic Programming Made Easy'', presented by Luc De Raedt and Hendrik Blockeel. This tutorial is meant to make the domain of ILP better known to people outside the ILP community but working inside related fields such as machine learning, data mining and knowledge discovery. As its title suggests, the tutorial avoids the technical aspects of ILP and instead focuses on explaining its applicability in these fields: how does ILP differ from other techniques, when do you need it (and when not), for what kind of tasks can it be used, etc.

In its form as given at PKDD-99, the tutorial was tailored towards data mining and knowledge discovery: ILP was explained mainly from the relational database point of view, with special attention for issues such as scalability and some typical data mining tasks (e.g., association rules). The tutorial consisted of two parts: during the first part Luc De Raedt introduced ILP and its applications, during the second part Hendrik Blockeel gave a demonstration of the ILP systems Tilde and Warmr, two systems that are tailored towards typical data mining tasks (induction of decision trees, discovery of association rules; both in a multi-relational context).

About 30 people attended the tutorial. The material was presented in such a way as to generate some interaction with the audience, and indeed the audience responded accordingly: there were several questions during the presentation and there was some discussion afterwards. The reponsiveness of the audience gave a very positive impression, from which we think it is fair to conclude that this tutorial, while not attracting as many people as was hoped (tutorials were held in parallel, so there was some competition for attendants between tutorials), certainly did not disappoint those people who did attend it.