Our long-term goal is the development of an embodied cognitive agent that interacts intelligently with its environment, and communicates its beliefs, actions, and observations in natural language. Two main outcomes are expected from this work: getting a deeper understanding of human cognition and language competence, and producing intelligent artifacts for various applications of robotics. We pursue this project making use of the SNePS knowledge representation and reasoning and acting system of Shapiro et al. Our research moves in three main, parallel directions:

First, there are research problems, falling under the umbrella of cognitive robotics, of an agent's reasoning about its perception and action. These give rise to issues of reasoning about fallible perception, causal reasoning, counterfactual reasoning, belief, and belief change.

Second, we address problems related to embodied linguistic competence and its link to acting. Chief among these are issues related to indexicals, event ontologies, and the appropriate linguistic generation of causal reports.

Third, we continue to develop and enhance both the theory and the implementation of the SNePS system.

Research Topics & Projects

Integrated Monitoring System for Plant Disease Forecast

Our goal is to develop an integrated software/hardware platform that is based on scientific research to monitor different plant diseases while tolerating the harsh field environments. The research components involved in this project include agriculture and wireless sensor networks in addition to artificial intelligence. From agriculture point of view, the science of plant diseases and effective models to handle such diseases will be validated and optimized to the specific diseases encountered by Egyptian crops. Form a wireless communications perspective, we study reliable communications under different conditions and the effect of the topology of wireless sensor network on the coverage of the system. Under the umbrella of artificial intelligence, different prediction algorithms as well as learning algorithms are to be developed in order to realize an expert system that allows the proposed platform to emulate the decision-making ability of a human expert regarding the diseases.
Grants: 2,027,200 STDF grant

The Joint Exploratory Society for Interdisciplinary and Cognitive Studies (J6)

The goal of this project is mainly threefold: (i) to form a research group specialized in theoretical and experimental cognitive science, (ii) to start a seeding project for the group which develops a cognitively inspired model to enable computers understand drawn sketches, and (iii) to establish an equipped behavioral lab in Egypt for exploratory and interdisciplinary studies related to the group’s work. We propose to form a team of researchers that introduces, performs, and leads theoretical and experimental interdisciplinary research, especially within the intersection between the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive modeling. This is expected to form the first kernel society of its kind all over the Egyptian scientific community. The group aims to study and solve fundamental cognition problems, where methodologies from both natural and human sciences are typically employed. This will be triggered through a seeding project that develops an AI competence model for the recognition, classification, memorization and retrieval of “sketches”. The development will focus on modeling the human ability to operate with “sketches” that is guided both by (i) cognitive principles in analogical reasoning and concept blending, as well as (ii) protocols and experiments that involve human participants. The work will focus on obtaining theoretical and experimental results to enhance the modeling of the human ability to operate with sketches. Within the same context of this proposal, we additionally propose to establish a behavioral lab in Egypt, which will be equipped with the modern devices needed to carry out the group’s experiments and running the related human protocols.
Grants: 238,957€ DAAD grant


Haythem O. Ismail and Nourhan Ehab (2015). Algebraic Semantics for Graded Propositions. In Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Dynamics of Knowledge and Belief (DKB 2015).
Haythem O. Ismail (2013). Stability in a Commonsense Ontology of States. In Proceedings of the Eleventh International Symposium on Logical Formalization of Commonsense Reasoning (COMMONSENSE 2013).
Haythem O. Ismail (2012). LogAB: A First-Order, Non-Paradoxical, Algebraic Logic of Belief. Logic Journal of the IGPL, 20(5), 774--995.
Haythem O. Ismail (2012). Now: Between Indexical Thoughts and Indexical Thought. In Proceedings of the International Workshop on Spatio-Temporal Dynamics (STeDy 2012).
Haythem O. Ismail and Aya S. Mahfouz (2011). Autodoxastic Conditional Reasoning: The Monotonic Case. In Modeling and Using Context: Proceedings of the 7th International and Interdisciplinary Conference (CONTEXT 2011).
Haythem O. Ismail and Nasr Kasrin (2010). High-Level Perception as Focused Belief Revision. In Proceedings of the 19th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI-2010).
Haythem O. Ismail and Nasr Kasrin (2010). Focused Belief Revision as a Model of Fallible Relevance-Sensitive Perception. In Proceedings of the 33rd German Conference on Artificial Intelligence (KI-2010).
Haythem O. Ismail (2009). A Reason Maintenance Perspective on Relevant Ramsey Conditionals. Logic Journal of the IGPL, 18(4), 508--529.
Haythem O. Ismail (2008). On the Syntax and Semantics of Effect Axioms. In Carola Eschenbach and Michael Gruninger (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference (FOIS-2008), 223--236. IOS Press, Amsterdam.
Haythem O. Ismail (2006). Simultaneous Events and the “Once Only” Effect. In Brandon Bennett and Christiane Fellbaum (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference (FOIS-2006), 143--154. IOS Press, Amsterdam.