Friday, February 12, 2010

The 6 Months News Cycle

The STOC accepted papers, with some pointers to online versions, can be found here. I had two papers: Towards Polynomial Lower Bounds for Dynamic Problems and Changing Base without Losing Space. More on them later.

The FOCS call for papers is here. An experimental feature is the lack of page limits. While nominally the reviewers are only obliged to look at the first 10 pages, we all know such formalism is irrelevant. Reviewers look at anywhere between 0.5 and 50 pages, until they form some opinion about the paper. As an author, I'm happy to stop playing the childish \baselinestretch and \appendix games, which were not helping anyone.

On the other hand, I vividly remember a discussion during my tenure on the FOCS PC when people made a strong case for a strict 10-page submission limit (no appendix). Many authors don't give a damn about teaching the reader anything, and seem driven by the desire to make their paper look as long and technical as possible. The reasoning was that a strict 10-page limit might actually force them to explain some ideas. Instead of a strict page limit, I would actually advocate using reviewers that are not easily intimidated, and stop accepting papers just because "it looks hard and these people seem to have put a lot of effort into it." In practice, of course, this ideal is hard to implement.

Forward by one conference, and I am on the SODA PC. This seems to be a standard punishment for having 4 papers in the conference. Speaking of which, I have recently uploaded slides for all these papers.

I am travelling to Europe in the coming weeks, so my series on hashing will continue at a slower pace.


Anonymous said...

I prefer a page limit in conference paper. Often it is indeed the case the authors unnecessarily write a very long paper making their proofs look harder, where in fact the concept is much easy and even the proof can be conveyed in a easy and concise manner. Very few people has the patience of reading a 50 page papers. Often I read a conference paper first to have a good idea of it and then if necessary look for any available full version. I think the best idea will be to have 10 page limit, but if a paper is 10 and a 1/2 or 11 pages, that should be ok.

Anonymous said...

Where are you Mihai. Post something :)