The IIIA is a leading artificial intelligence research laboratory in Spain that belongs to the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). All started in 1985 when the president of the CSIC, Prof. Trillas, commissioned Ramon López de Mántaras to start an AI group at the CEAB with a few graduate students and with the help of Jaume Agustí, Josep Aguilar-Martín (on leave from the CNRS), and Settimo Termini (on leave from the CNR). It was created out of the AI research group that has existed at the CEAB in Blanes since 1985. Since 1994, the IIIA has been located in the campus of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
During the period october 85-october 95 the IIIA has had on the average about 20 members. In all, a total of around 50 people, including visiting researchers, have been members of the IIIA during this period. Most of these researchers have had prior background in computer science, electrical engineering, physics or mathematics. Many graduate students in computer science have followed AI courses and carried out projects in the laboratory. Fourteen of these students completed their PhD work in our Institute.
A balance between fundamental research and applications has always been our concern. Various theoretical foundations, at the leading edge of the field, have been developed, including: mathematical foundations of fuzzy logic, approximate reasoning models based on fuzzy and multivalued logic, automated deduction in multi-valued logic, possibilistic logic and higher order logic, conceptual modelling and languages, efficient constraint satisfaction algorithms, similarity logic and consensus theory. Also, in connection with this fundamental research, many working systems, languages, and tools have been built: knowledge-based systems, multi-agent systems, machine learning systems, case-based systems, intelligent agents and autonomous robots. This research has always been guided by concrete and challenging applications in fields such as medicine, biology, electronic commerce, personal information agents and music. Several of the above-mentioned systems, tools and applications have been distributed outside the institute and in some cases have been commercialised.
ISOCO, a spin-off company of the IIIA, was set up in summer 1999 and is dedicated to the design of intelligent software components for Internet-related applications. Today, with more than 60 employees, it is already a leading company within its sector in Spain.
MyStrands, a second spin-off company of the IIIA, was set up in 2003 and is dedicated to the design of recommender technologies.