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Database Publication Practices. Surajit Chaudhuri Microsoft Research. Coping with Growth. Issue: Higher submission rate We are not alone in facing this problem What are others thinking?

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database publication practices

Database Publication Practices

Surajit Chaudhuri

Microsoft Research

coping with growth
Coping with Growth
  • Issue: Higher submission rate
  • We are not alone in facing this problem
    • What are others thinking?
    • ACM SGB Task Force on the Impact ofIncreasing Conference Submissions (Chair: Alexander L. Wolf) – next 4 slides
  • My analysis and some painful suggestions
basis of sgb task force data
ASE (1995-2004)

DAC (1998-2004)

DATE (2001-2005)

EComm (1998-2005)

FOCS (1990-2004)

FSE (1993-2004)

GLSVLSI (2002-2005)

ICSE (1992-2005)

ICSM (1999-2004)

ISSTA (1989-2004)

Middleware (2000-2004)

MobiCom (1995-2004)

MobiHoc (2000-2004)

MobiSys (2003-2004)

PODC (1994-2004)

PODS (1993-2003)

POPL (1973-2005)

SCG (1995-2004)

SIGCOMM (1998-2004)

SODA (1990-2005)

SPAA (1995-2003)

STOC (1991-2005)

UML (1999-2004)

UAI (1992-2004)

Basis of SGB Task Force Data
observations perceptions stature workload
Observations/Perceptions: Stature/Workload
  • Conferences with lowering acceptance rates receiving more polished papers on narrower topics
  • Pressure to publish in top venues
    • CS argued that conferences more important than journals; now we are suffering for it
    • grad students expected to publish in top places
  • Between a rock and hard place
    • grow PC, but lose coordination
    • shrink PC, but lose quality of reviews
  • Vicious cycle
    • people agreeing to do more PCs (can’t say no)
    • people do less per PC
most radical idea
Most Radical Idea
  • Rethink the role of conferences
    • reduce importance w.r.t. journals
    • reduce number and increase acceptance rates
    • conference presentations derived from “best” journal submissions (rather than vice versa)
    • make tenure evaluation based on quality of top five papers, not number of papers
  • Journals have better scale properties
    • larger reviewer pool
    • less time pressure on authors and reviewers
my analysis and suggestions

My Analysis and Suggestions

(No implication for SIGMOD06)

request to the steering committees
Request to the Steering Committees
  • Experimenting with procedural changes
    • Observe
    • Make only one significant change for a while
    • Observe
  • Avoid second-order changes that do not address the pain point
second order issues
Second Order Issues
  • Double-blind reviewing
    • Expected to impact on selection of “border-line” papers
    • Many ACM SIGs follow
  • Author Feedback
    • Good for “venting”
    • Tight timeline for reviewing makes it ineffective
accommodating growth
Accommodating Growth
  • Acceptance rate
    • Acceptance rate is 15%, 20% or 39%?
      • Do the math!
    • Not lower than many other large conferences
    • Mandated changes seem unreasonable
  • Diversity and Narrowing of Topics
    • AAAI: “Big Ideas”, Tech papers, Abstracts
    • Independent conferences as tracks (like WWW)
    • Reuse journals as publication
  • Program Constraints
    • Presentation decoupled from acceptance
    • Posters and Plenary (old KDD style)
impact on reviewing infrastructure
Impact on Reviewing Infrastructure
  • Choice of PC members crucial
    • Quality of Papers highly correlated with PC members
  • “Everyone is a PC member”
    • VLDB05: 610 reviewers
  • Large PC has likely to have high variability
    • VLDB05: 610 reviewers
    • But, otherwise 3-review load is too high
  • Suggestions (next 2 slides)
    • Short-cuts in reviewing process
    • Throttle the “flow” of papers
reviewing quality load
Reviewing Quality/Load
  • 2-level PC (but reduce dependence on external reviewers) [like AAAI, SIGGRAPH]
    • Senior PC member nominates
    • Handles 4/5 papers
    • Good training for future PC experience
  • Early Rejection
    • If a paper gets 2 “weak” rejects, it is rejected without a third review
  • General Chairs should yield more time to reviewing
    • Electronic PC requires it
    • Electronic Proceedings make it easy
  • We should learn/coordinate with broader CS community
throttle the flow
Throttle the flow
  • No other ACM SIG engineers pipeline
    • SIGGRAPHICS or EuroGraphics
    • Mobicom or SIGCOMM
    • Takes motivation away to make serious changes
  • Selectively “break the pipeline”
    • VLDB-> ICDE
    • SIGMOD -> VLDB (except for roll-over papers)
  • Send the right (not polite) message
    • Weak Reject” vs. “Reject”
    • Very short reviews for bottom 10% - 20%
more serious issues beyond publication practices
More Serious Issues beyond Publication Practices
  • Legacy of mid’80s – mid 90’s
    • Parallel DBMS, Query Optimization
    • Debate between deductive DB and OODB washed away!
  • Jury is still out on the last decade?
  • Today:
    • Are there too many problem statements?
      • Everyone working on “personalized” problems
      • Many “fuzzy” problems with “fuzzy” yardstick for solutions?
    • Worry: Weakening link to systems/hard engineering