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Lengauer, T., Schneider, R., Bork, P., Brutlag, D., Glasgow, J., Mewes, H.-W. and Zimmer, R. (1999). Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Intelligenet Systems for Molecular Biology. In Heidelberg, Germany: AAAI Press, 307

Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Intelligenet Systems for Molecular Biology

T. Lengauer, R. Schneider, P. Bork, D. L. Brutlag, J. Glasgow, H.-W. Mewes, R. Zimmer

This volume comprises the formal proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB'99) held in Heidelberg, Germany from August 6 to August 10, 1999.

The ISMB conference series provides a general forum for disseminating the latest developments in bioinformatics. ISMB is a multidisciplinary conference that brings together scientists from computer science, mathematics, molecular biology and statistics. Its scope includes the development and application of advanced computational methods for biological problems. Relevant computational techniques include, but are not limited to: machine learning, pattern recognition, knowledge representation, databases, combinatorics, stochastic modeling, string and graph algorithms, linguistic methods, robotics, constraint satisfaction, and parallel computation. Biological areas of interest include biomolecular structure, genomics, biomolecular sequence analysis, evolution and phylogenetics, biomolecular interactions, metabolic pathways, regulatory networks, developmental control, and molecular biology generally. Emphasis is placed on the validation of methods using real data sets, on practical applications in the biological sciences, and on development of novel computational techniques.

Previous ISMB conferences were held at:

1993: National Library of Medicine, USA

1994: Stanford University, USA

1995: Cambridge University, UK

1996: Washington University, USA

1997: Halkidiki, Greece

1998: Montreal, Canada

Meanwhile ISMB has established itself as one of the leading refereed international conference series in bioinformatics.

ISMB'99 has received 91 submissions of contributed papers out of which a program committee consisting of ... distinguished researcher in the field of bioinformatics has selected ... papers to be presented at the conference and included in these proceedings. In the rigorous selection process each paper was reviewed by three members of the program committee and, after all the referee's reports had been completed, an extensive web-based discussion of all papers has taken place. The accepted papers have authors from ... countries and .. continents.

The contributed papers presented in these proceedings are only one part of the strong scientific program of the ISMB conferences. Anther very important part of the conference is its set of invited talks. ISMB'99 expanded the number of invited talks from previous ISMB conferences from three to eight. Four invited talks were intended to inject new problems and ideas from molecular biology and emerging experimental technologies into the bioinformatics community. These talks were given by Manfred Eigen, from the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, Rob Lipshutz from Affymetrix Inc., Santa Clara, California, Matthias Mann from Odense University, Denmark and Antony Kerlavage from Celera Inc. in Rockville, Maryland. Four other talks concentrated on bioinformatics issues. These talks were given by Amos Bairoch from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, Richard Karp from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, Eugene Koonin from NCBI, Bethesda, Maryland, and Michael Sternberg from the ICRF London, U.K. Short abstracts of all invited talks are contained in these proceedings.

Ten tutorials were given on the first day of the conference (August 6, 1999):

Pierre Baldi: Probabilistic graphical models

Douglas Brutlag: Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology

Winston Hide, Rob Miller, Alan Christoffels: EST clustering

Kevin Karplus, Melissa Cline: Getting the most out of hidden Markov models

Arthur Lesk: Sequence-structure relationships and evolutionary structure changes in proteins

Martin Reese, Suzanna Lewis: The challenge of annotating a complete eukaryotic genome: A case study in Drosophila melanogaster

David States, Brian Dunford Shore: PERL abstractions for databases and distributed computing

Zoltan Szallasi: Genetic network analysis &endash; From the lab bench to computers and back

Tandy Warnow, Junhyong Kim: Computational and statistical challenges involved in reconstructing evolutionary trees

Thomas Werner: The biology and bioinformatics of regulatory regions in genomes

Furthermore the conference included a lively poster session, an industrial exhibition of bioinformatics software, and a job fair. ISMB'99 directly preceded a tital solar eclipse that happened just South of Heidelberg of August 11, 1999. The website detailing all parts of the conference program can be found at its website (http://ismb99.gmd.de).

ISMB'99 has been organized by the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB). The mission of this society is the advancement of the scientific understanding of living systems through computation; its emphasis is on the role of computing and informatics in advancing molecular biology. Information on ISCB can be found at its website (http://www.iscb.org). The conference was held in cooperation with the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).

It is a pleasure for the organizers to acknowledge the sponsorship of the conference by the following scientific societies: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Chemisches Apparatewesen, Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V. (Dechema) and Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI). Industrial sponsors of the conference that had committed at the time that these proceedings are going to print are ....Merck KGaA, Germany, Silicon Graphics Inc., SUN Microsystems Germany, ..... LION bioscience AG and GMD provided generous funding and general support for the preparation and organization of ISMB'99.

The planning and organization of a conference such as ISMB'99 with the commitment to publishing a high quality refereed proceedings in a short time frame relies extensively on the enthusiasm and commitment of the program committee. The organizing committee wishes to formally express their gratitude to all members of the program committee.

In conclusion the organizing committee would like to thank Ms. Ingeborg Fatscher in Heidelberg for her heroic engagement in all on-location aspects of the conference preparation. Thanks go also to Hannelore Napieraj, GMD, for secretarial help, Katharina and Mike Hamilton at AAAI press for once again producing a proceedings of excellent quality.

Thomas Lengauer

Reinhard Schneider

Peer Bork

Douglas Brutlag

Janice Glasgow

Hans Werner Mewes

Ralf Zimmer

ISMB'99 Organizing Committee

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