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AI @ Computer Science Department

Artificial Intelligence research at Dipartimento di Informatica (Torino)

The Dipartimento di Informatica at University of Torino has a long tradition of research in Artificial Intelligence. Torino is one of the oldest Computer Science Departments in Italy (1972) and research in AI started from those early years. At that time the main focus was on speech recognition, under the guidance of Renato de Mori and with a strong cooperation with CSELT (the research center of Telecom Italia, STET at that time).

The late Seventies and early Eighties witnessed a tremendous expansion of AI research making Torino one of the leading centers in Europe. Different areas of interest and research emerged in those years.

A group of young researchers coming from de Mori’s groups (Leonardo Lesmo, Lorenza Saitta, Piero Torasso) started to look in different directions, opening a number of research trends (approximate reasoning, natural language processing, knowledge representation, expert systems, machine learning). They worked in strict cooperation to the growth of these areas, leading to the birth of important research groups on

  • Expert and Knowledge-based systems, under the lead of Piero Torasso
  • Machine Learning, under the lead of Lorenza Saitta
  • Natural language Processing, under the lead of Leonardo Lesmo

In the same years Alberto Martelli (with a record of seminal work on search algorithms and logic programming) moved to Torino, starting a further trend of research on logical foundations of AI and logic programming.

The groups in Torino grew and emerged as leading ones in their respective areas, with significant methodological contributions (as demonstrated by the papers published in major international journals and conferences) and applications, participating to a number of EU projects and with strong cooperation with important companies.

People from Torino contributed significantly to the establishment of an AI research community in Italy; many of them are founders of the Italian AI Association (AI*IA) and Torino hosted several national and international events in the area.

Alberto, Leonardo, Lorenza and Piero grew a generation of researchers who worked on the evolution of the four above mentioned areas and who, in turn, started new areas of research. Many of them form the current AI group in the Department and their research trends and groups are listed below; others moved to other universities or research centers in Italy or abroad.

The list of links below shows a wide variety of research interests by groups that are recognized at international level, with a significant record of publications, presence in international events, projects and industrial cooperation.

Research Groups (in alphabetical order):