Preface

The richly diverse field of ``genome informatics'' touches everything that is related, in one way or another, to genomes and to informatics. The papers contained in this volume demonstrate its broad and growing impact. From algorithms to atoms, from z-buffers to zygotes, genomics and informatics today have grown to span almost all aspects of the life sciences and draw on almost all resources of computer science. The growth of the ``International Conference on Genome Informatics'' reflects the growth of the field as a whole. In its early beginnings as GIW it was one of the first pioneers at the dawn of bioinformatics. Today its scope includes all work that is ultimately devoted to the computational understanding of biological systems on a molecular basis.
 This volume of Genome Informatics is edited from papers presented at Yebisu Garden Place in Tokyo, Japan, from December 16--18, 2002. The 37 members of the Program Committee of GIW 2002 received a record number of submissions: 56 papers for oral presentation, 174 poster presentations, and 9 software demonstrations. Each submitted paper was considered by an average of 4 and a minimum of 3 members of the Program Committee.
 Based on the reports from the Program Committee members, the 23 papers in this volume were accepted for presentation at the conference. The Program Committee gave the Best Paper Award to ``Marginalized Kernels for RNA Sequence Data Analysis'' by Taishin Kin, Koji Tsuda, and Kiyoshi Asai.
 In addition, the poster presentations and software demonstrations were reviewed by the editors (Richard H. Lathrop, Kenta Nakai, Satoru Miyano, Toshihisa Takagi, and Minoru Kanehisa) for relevance. The abstracts of the 167 accepted posters presentations and 8 accepted software demonstrations are included in this book.
 This book also contains abstracts from the two invited speakers: Yoshiyuki Sakaki of RIKEN GSC and the University of Tokyo, and Sorin Istrail of Celera Genomics. Yoshiyuki Sakaki discussed ``Comparative Genomics for Understanding Ourselves''. Sorin Istrail spoke on the topic of ``Inferring Gene Transcription Networks''.
 We would like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors: Bioinformatics Center, Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University; Human Genome Center, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo; and Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas ``Genome Information Science'', Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan. The poster and software demonstration session is organized and sponsored by Japanese Society for Bioinformatics (JSBi)
 Please note that the electronic version of Genome Informatics 2002 will be available from the Japanese Society for Bioinformatics (http://www.jsbi.org/journal.html). The accepted papers for oral presentation will soon be indexed by Medline. We look forward to a full and interesting conference.

Kenta Nakai
Richard H. Lathrop
Program Committee Co-Chairs