Thursday, August 24, 2017

Community Feedback Session


Chair Roch Guerin and Vice Chair Aditya Akella presented the state of the the conference and made a couple of announcements. The most important points were the following:

- The next SIGCOMM conference will take place in Budapest, Hungary.

- Membership is continuing to drop, and we've been losing members.

- We've tripled the number of students.

- Finances are still good, even though we've been running on deficit (as we decided to do).

- In 2016 we had a $100,000 surplus and the 2017 figure is likely to be similar.

- About $200,000 have been used for student travel grants across sponsored conferences.

- CCR is now entirely online.

- There are several ongoing special projects, including the reduction of registration fees, childcare grants, the N2Women workshop and encouraging industry-academia interaction.

- We are working incessantly on diversity and outreach. We have made progress in Asia and Europe but our presence in South America (1.7%) and Africa + Middle East (1%) remains marginal.

- The PACM (Proceeding of the ACM) launched in 2017. The PACM is a new journal series meant to afford journal status to papers published in our best conferences. Its benefits include broader recognition of journal/archival quality of the work and perception of higher quality review process. The main PACM requirement is to provide a review process that allows bona fide revisions.

- ACM's new president is Vicky Hanson, and she wants to explore the possibility of launching new initiatives in IoT.

Two issues are of major interest: student engagement at SIGCOMM and rolling deadlines. SIGCOMM has engaged students through student dinners and mentoring moments, but they have not asked to students what they expect from the conference. More has to be done in this area. Regarding rolling deadlines, a decision has to be made as to whether having multiple deadlines is the right thing to do for SIGCOMM. A meeting will be held tomorrow (Thursday, August 24th) at 7:30 AM.

Comment: Regarding Latin American membership, we did an experiment 15 years ago, and the community's response was positive. However, it collapsed because the social structures made it difficult to enter.

Comment: SIGCOMM seems to have not used the benefits of internet (livestreaming the conference, for instance). SIGCOMM can lead the way in adequately using the internet. SIGCOMM seems to focus on getting paying members, we should focus on getting participating members.

Comment: Good reasons for rolling deadlines: January deadline causes papers to cram and the quality may be affected. Furthermore, researchers sometimes have no chance to enjoy the winter recess because of the deadline. Rolling deadlines may reduce the randomness in paper acceptance,
Response: Rolling deadlines might be helpful in the revision process.

Comment: "Community Feedback" seems like a misnomer, (this section of the conference was originally called "Business Meeting").
Response: This is the format that has been used in previous years. We will consider changing the name.

Comment/Q: Regarding the rolling deadlines meeting tomorrow, very few people are aware of this discussion. No one knows about the 7:30 AM meeting and you should consider to reschedule. There is a sense of non-openness. Who would make the rolling deadline decision?
Response: The purpose of the meeting is to have more one-on-one discussions and it was hard to find a non-conflicting time. We want to hear what the community has to say and the goal is to gather information. The Technical Student Committee is the one who makes the final decision.

Comment: Please inform the community (through the newsletter, for instance) about important things (rolling deadlines). There are some people who are not in the room who should be involved in the discussion.,
Response: This is going to be a long process. Tomorrow's meeting is just to get the conversation started.

Comment: Considering politics (travel ban), do we need a single location or multiple locations for the conference? We need to provide personal encounters for those who cannot travel.
Response: We will consider this in the future.

Q: What happened to the discussion section in the website?
Response:  It is there, but it is inactive. This is an area where we need to improve.