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Computational Semiotics

Computational Semiotics is within Semiotics still a small subgroup of people who try to integrate both worlds: the world of the signs with the world of computation. Today this seems 'natural', but historically semiotics has strong roots in the 'soft sciences' like philosophy, language, aesthetics, architecture, etc. Although there were strong contributions from the point of view of logic, mathematics and formal approaches in linguistics, an integration with modern computer science or even engineering has yet not gained a wide acceptance within the classical fields. Therefore have the activities in the new field of computational semiotics still a flavor of 'pioneering' work, and they are --because the number of active researchers is comparatively small-- very international.

Knowing this it was some lucky event when during a NIST-Conference in October 1998, organized by Burckhard Rieger, a special section for computational semiotics attracted some people from all over the world: Rodney Clarke (Wollongong, Australia), Gerd Döben-Henisch (Frankfurt, Germany), Ricardo Gudwin (Campinas, Brazil), Alexander Mehler (Trier, Germany), Edwina Taborski (Toronto, Canada), Louwrence Erasmus (Pretoria, South Africa). From this meeting grew out some loose group communicating and organizing several activities. During the following years other colleagues shared this group more or less informal. The group has a loosely connection and has meanwhile organized several workshops, conferences, and books. The central idea is to think and realize the topic of Semiotics within the framework of computation.