SIGACCESS FY’10 Annual Report
July 2009 - June 2010
Submitted by: Andrew Sears, Chair
SIGACCESS continues to expand its membership and activities to meet member needs. This report highlights SIGACCESS Awards as well as the SIG’s conference, publication, and other activities.
ACM Student Research Competition (SRC)
SIGACCESS continues to conduct this competition in conjunction with the ASSETS conference. For ASSETS 2009, the winners are:
1. First place: "Sensation Augmentation to Relieve Pressure Sore Formation in Wheelchair Users" (Raphael Rush, Queen's University, Canada)
2. Second place: "Designing AAC Interfaces for Commercial Brain-Computer Interaction Gaming Hardware" (Stephen Steward, University of Delaware, USA)
1. First place: "iSET: Enabling in situ and post hoc video labeling" (Mish Madsen, MIT Media Lab, USA; Abdelrahman Mahmoud, American University in Cairo, Egypt; Youssef Kashef, American University in Cairo, Egypt)
2. Second place: "Defining Virtualization Based System Abstractions for an Indoor Assistive Living for Elderly Care" (Nova Ahmed, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
3. Third place: "MGuider: Mobile Guiding and Tracking System in Public Transit System for Individuals with Cognitive Impairments" (Wei-Hsun Chen, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan)
ACM SIGACCESS AWARD for Outstanding Contributions to Computing and Accessibility
The inaugural ACM SIGACCESS AWARD for Outstanding Contributions to Computing and Accessibility was awarded in 2008. The award, given every other year, recognizes individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to the development of computing technologies that improve the accessibility of media and services to people with disabilities.
Outstanding contributions through research, practice, or advocacy are recognized. The award recognizes members of the community for long-term accomplishments or those who have made a notable impact through a significant innovation. The 2010 recipient is Dr. Albert Cook of the University of Alberta, Canada. He will receive the award, and will deliver a keynote address, at ASSETS 2010, in Orlando, Florida.
SIGACCESS Best Paper Award
Takagi, H., Kawanaka, S., Kobayashi, M., Sato, D., and Asakawa, C. 2009.
Collaborative web accessibility improvement: challenges and possibilities. In Proceedings of the 11th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, October 25 - 28, 2009). ASSETS '09. ACM, New York, NY, 195-202.
SIGACCESS Best Student Paper Award
Cavender, A. C., Bigham, J. P., and Ladner, R. E. 2009. ClassInFocus:
enabling improved visual attention strategies for deaf and hard of hearing students. In Proceedings of the 11th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, October 25 - 28, 2009). ASSETS '09. ACM, New York, NY, 67-74. DOI=
SIGACCESS Scholarship in Computers and Accessibility
The SIGACCESS Scholarship Award aims to provide support for participation in the ASSETS conference for individuals who would not otherwise be able to attend. Practitioners, researchers, members of advocacy groups, or individuals with disabilities are eligible to apply.
Applicants must have a demonstrated interest in accessible computing. Awardees will have the opportunity to actively participate in the ASSETS conference and gain experience and knowledge from interacting with experts in the field. The scholarship award is in the amount of $2,000.
SIGACCESS will award up to two scholarships per year, pending availability of funds. We are in the process of awarding our first two scholarships under this program, which will support the participation of two individuals to the ASSETS 2010 conference.
ASSETS’09 was held in Pittsburgh, PA. Once again, conference attendance exceeded projections, with a record 130 attendees. The technical program addressed a broad range of issues including cognitive accessibility, wayfinding, virtual environments, accessible gaming, accessibility for individuals with hearing impairments, text entry, web accessibility, and various other topics.
Once again, the conference featured an NSF sponsored Doctoral Consortium (see http://www.sigaccess.org/community/newsletter/january_2010/jan10_all.pdf).
This consortium allowed doctoral students to present their dissertation topics and receive feedback during formative stages of their work. The conference also hosted a Microsoft Student Research Competition (SRC) event (see information about the winners of the competition above).
The SIGACCESS Business Meeting, held at ASSETS, updated attendees on SIG activities and discussed ideas for new activities. The idea of holding ASSETS in another country was discussed and was well received. There was also discussion of supporting workshops or other smaller events that were more focused with regard to topic or geographical location.
The inaugural issue of the ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS) appeared in May, 2008. At this time, six issues have been published and the seventh issue is in preparation. The number of submissions continues to grow. TACCESS is a quarterly journal that publishes refereed articles addressing issues of computing as it impacts the lives of people with disabilities. It provides a technical forum for disseminating innovative research related to computing technologies and their use by people with disabilities. This journal is available online to SIGACCESS members.
The SIGACCESS newsletter continues with its regular online publications:
see http://www.sigaccess.org/community/newsletter/. After several years of service, Sri Kurniawan stepped down as the Editor-in-Chief. Jinjuan Feng (Towson University) assumed this position as of June, 2010.
Also available on the SIGACCESS website is the monthly ‘Left Field’ column (see http://www.sigaccess.org/community/left_field/) by Yeliz Yesilada. The goal of Left Field is to bring to the attention of members publications from the ACM Digital Library that are of interest, but published in venues typically outside the reading of SIGACCESS members.
In Cooperation Conferences
SIGACCESS provided financial support for the International Cross Disciplinary Workshop on Web Accessibility 2010 (W4A) at the WWW Conference in Raleigh, NC this past April (see http://www.w4a.info/2010).
The SIGACCESS website was created and is maintained by the SIGACCESS webmaster, Darren Lunn of the University of Manchester.
We note the passing on April 11, 2009 of our friend and colleague Noëlle Carbonell. Those of you who knew her personally know of her great humanity, keen intellect, and dedication to high quality work. As Secretary-Treasurer of SIGACCESS these past three years she was a staunch advocate for people with disabilities and was a strong advocate for international cooperation on research in this area. We will greatly miss her energy and passion. In recognition of Noëlle’s dedication to SIGACCESS and her contributions to the community, the 2010 SIGACCESS Scholarship in Computers and Accessibility have been dedicated in her memory.
SIGACT FY’10 Annual Report
July 2009 - June 2010
Submitted by: Lance Fortnow, Chair
2010 Gödel Prize: Sanjeev Arora. (1998). Polynomial-time approximation schemes for Euclidean TSP and other geometric problems, Journal ACM 45(5), 753-782 and Joseph S.B. Mitchell (1999). Guillotine subdivisions approximate polygonal subdivisions: A simple polynomial-time approximation scheme for geometric TSP, k-MST, and related problems, SIAM J. Computing 28(4), 1298-1309.
The prize is awarded jointly with the EATCS and this year was awarded at the ICALP conference.
Knuth Prize: David Johnson for seminal contributions to the theoretical and experimental analysis of combinatorial algorithms. The Knuth Prize is given jointly by SIGACT and IEEE TCMFCS and the Knuth Prize and Lecture was given this year at STOC.
Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award: Mihir Bellare and Phil Rogaway for their development of the field of Practice-Oriented Provable-Security and its widespread impact on the theory and practice of cryptography and security. This award is an ACM award sponsored in part by SIGACT.
Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing:
2010: Tushar D. Chandra, Vassos Hadzilacos, and Sam Toueg for:
Tushar D. Chandra and Sam Toueg. Unreliable Failure Detectors for Reliable Distributed Systems, Journal of the ACM, 43(2):225-267, 1996.
Tushar D. Chandra, Vassos Hadzilacos and Sam Toueg. The Weakest Failure Detector for Solving Consensus, Journal of the ACM, 43(4):685-722, 1996.
2009: Joseph Halpern and Yoram Moses for "Knowledge and Common Knowledge in a Distributed Environment" in the Journal of the ACM, 37(3):549-587, July 1990.
The Dijkstra Prize is given jointly by SIGACT and SIGOPS.
SIGACT Distinguished Service Award: Hal Gabow
STOC 2010 Best Paper Award: “QIP=PSPACE,” by Rahul Jain, Zhengfeng Ji, Sarvagya Upadhyay and John Watrous, and “An Improved LP-based Approximation for Steiner Tree,” by Jaroslaw Byrka, Fabrizio Grandoni, Thomas Rothvoss and Laura Sanita.
Danny Lewin Best Student Paper Award (STOC 2010): “Augmenting Undirected Node-Connectivity by One” by Laszlo A. Vegh
SIGACT awarded approximately thirty student travel awards to allow these students to attend the 2010 STOC conference. Some of these awards were supported by NSF Grant CCF-0923716.
2. Significant papers on new areas published in proceedings
With help from PC Chairs Leonard Schulman (STOC), Moses Charikar (SODA) and Lorenzo Alvisi (PODC).
The ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC 2009) covers much of computer science theory.
Rahul Jain, Zhengfeng Ji, Sarvagya Upadhyay and John Watrous resolved a long-standing open question in their paper aptly named “QIP=PSPACE.” In the classic theorem that IP=PSPACE, the containment of IP in PSPACE is easy, whereas the containment of PSPACE in IP is a celebrated result. In the quantum case, since QIP contains IP, we get the formerly-difficult direction “for free;” the formerly-easy direction, namely that QIP lies in PSPACE, has only now been concluded in this, the culminating paper in a sequence. The proof relies upon a parallelized form of the multiplicative weights update method, applied to a certain class of semidefinite programs.
Jaroslaw Byrka, Fabrizio Grandoni, Thomas Rothvoss and Laura Sanita, in their paper “An Improved LP-based Approximation for Steiner Tree,” answered in the positive the long-standing problem of whether the Steiner Tree problem has an LP relaxation with integrality gap less than 2 (providing one with gap 1.55). The approximation factor of their algorithm is even better, namely 1.39.
Laszlo A. Vegh won the Danny Lewin Best Student Paper Award for his paper “Augmenting Undirected Node-Connectivity by One,” in which he provides a polynomial-time algorithm for determining the fewest number of edges that need to be added to an undirected graph to increment its node-connectivity by one. This was a long-standing problem, previously settled only in very special cases, whose sibling problems (undirected edge-connectivity as well as directed node- and edge-connectivity) were solved in a series of papers over the last quarter-century. The complexity of augmenting undirected node-connectivity by more than one remains a challenging question.
SODA is a major conference that focuses on algorithms and combinatorics.
Arash Asadpour, Michel X. Goemans, Aleksander Madry, Shayan Oveis Gharan and Amin Saberi's Best Paper at SODA 2010, "An O(log n/log log n)-approximation algorithm for the asymmetric traveling salesman problem".
The traveling salesman problem is the classical combinatorial optimization problem of finding a minimum cost tour through a set of cities. This paper considers the asymmetric variant (ATSP) where the cost from going from A to B might be different from the cost from B to A. The paper presents a breakthrough in the approximation for ATSP, the first asymptotic improvement in the approximation factor of O(log n) (first established in 1982) to O(log n/ log log n). The algorithm is somewhat reminiscent of Christofides’ algorithm for the symmetric case. It first solves the classical Held-Karp linear programming relaxation of the problem, then generates a spanning tree T while disregarding the orientations of the arcs, and finally augments it into a directed Eulerian graph at minimum cost by solving a minimum cost flow problem. The cost of the final step depends on the "thinness" of the tree T. The authors use maximum entropy sampling to construct a suitable probability distribution on spanning trees which are sufficiently thin with high probability. This is an exciting development in approximation algorithms, and the wealth of ideas in the paper could lead to further progress on the problem.
Aaron Bernstein's Best Student Paper at SODA 2010, "A Nearly Optimal Algorithm for Approximating Replacement Paths and k Shortest Simple Paths in General Graphs".
A fundamental problem in graph algorithms is to find the shortest path between two given vertices. This paper studies generalizations of this question where some edges could fail. Given a directed graph with edge weights and two specified vertices s and t, the replacement-paths problem asks to determine, for each edge e, the length of the shortest s-t path that avoids e. The fastest algorithm for this problem takes roughly O(mn) time, where m is the number of edges and n is the number of vertices and there is a lower bound of Omega(m sqrt(n)). The main result shown in this paper is that approximate replacement paths can be computed much faster. The paper presents a (1+eps)-approximation for the replacement-paths problem that (ignoring some logarithmic factors) runs in time O(m/eps). This gives an O(mk/eps)-time (1+eps)-approximation for the problem of computing the k shortest simple paths. The approximation algorithms significantly improve upon the running times of the current best exact algorithms for these problems. An important component of the algorithm is running Dijkstra's shortest path algorithm multiple times on slightly modified versions of the graph, via a novel variant called Progressive Dijkstra which mitigates the cost of the multiple runs. The paper makes important contributions to very basic questions in graph algorithms.
Sungjin Im and Benjamin Moseley's Best Student Paper at SODA 2010, "An Online Scalable Algorithm for Average Flow Time in Broadcast Scheduling".
In broadcast scheduling, page requests arrive over time, and the server has to schedule broadcasts of pages online, i.e. without knowledge of future requests; a broadcast of a page satisfies all preceding unsatisfied requests for that page. The goal is to minimize the average flow time, i.e. the average wait time for requests. This problem and its variants have been studied extensively over the past 10-15 years. This paper obtains essentially the best possible result, a constant competitive algorithm with arbitrarily small speed augmentation, solving an outstanding problem in the area that had been open for a decade. The algorithm is a variant of the natural Longest-wait-first algorithm first proposed in the late 90s -- the next page to broadcast is the one that has incurred the largest flow time. This algorithm, however, does not work well for speeds close to 1. The authors propose a novel variant of this algorithm which tends to favor more recent requests and present an intricate analysis that employs a clever charging argument.
PODC is a major conference that focuses on the theory of distributed computing.
"Tight Bounds for Clock Synchronization, co-authored by Christoph Lenzen, Thomas Locher, and Roger Wattenhofer, was the winner of the Best Paper award at PODC 2009.
The paper presents a novel clock synchronization algorithm and proves tight upper and lower bounds on the worst-case clock skew that may occur between any two participants in any given distributed system. More importantly, the worst-case clock skew between neighboring nodes is (asymptotically) at most a factor of two larger than the best possible bound. The algorithm minimizes the number and size of messages that need to be exchanged in a given time period and ensures that the clock values remain in an affine linear envelope of real time: a better bound on the accuracy with respect to real time cannot be achieved in the absence of an external timer.
"Max Registers, Counters, and Monotone Circuits", coauthored by James Aspnes, Hagit Attiya, and Keren Censor, was the winner of the Best Student Paper award at PODC 2009.
The paper introduces a method for constructing a max register, a linearizable, wait-free concurrent data structure that supports a write operation and a read operation that returns the largest value previously written. For a fixed m, an m-valued max register can be constructed from one-bit multi-writer multi-reader registers with a number of atomic register operations per write or read. that is logarithmic in m, while an unbounded max register with cost O(min(log v, n)) to read or write a value v, where n is the number of processes. As an application, we obtain a simple, linearizable, wait-free counter implementation. For polynomially-many increments, this implementation yields an exponential improvement on the best previously known upper bounds for exact and approximate counting.
3. Significant programs that provided a springboard for further technical efforts
SIGACT sponsored or co-sponsored a number of important conferences including the Symposium on Theory of Computation (STOC), Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC), Symposium on Computational Geometry, Symposium on Parallel Algorithms and Architectures (SPAA), and Symposium on Discrete Algorithms (SODA). SIGACT also supports several conferences in-cooperation including Symposium on Principles of Database Systems (PODS), Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS), Symposium on Principles of Programming Languages (POPL).
4. Innovative programs which provide service to our technical community
The Committee for the Advancement of Theoretical Computer Science (CATCS) sponsored by SIGACT continues to be very active. The committee meets by conference call every two weeks and has developed and executed action plans to increase the visibility of theoretical computer science and to increase the funding base for theory of computation at the NSF. The Committee has helped advise the NSF CISE Assistant Director and other NSF officers on several matters including recruiting for positions within CISE and restructuring the organization. The committee has also had discussions with DARPA officials on finding opportunities for theorists in DARPA projects.
In 2008, CATCS with funding from the Computing Community Consortium held the Visions for Theoretical Computer Science Workshop which consolidates theoretical research agendas into compact visions that are accessible to people outside of our field. The final report is highlighted on the CRA CCC website (http://www.cra.org/ccc/theory.php) as well on the CATCS site (http://theorymatters.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Visioning.HomePage).
SIGACT continues to support student attendance at SODA and STOC by funding Student Best Paper Awards, travel, lunches, and reduced registration fees. This helps ensure that the maximum number of students can attend these conferences. The NSF has helped support part of these efforts.
SIGACT has revamped its website and has added a Twitter and Facebook presence and a blog for theory announcements as well as continuing the theorynt listserv, and conference software through the SIGACT server.
5. Summary of key issues that the membership of the SIGACT will have to deal with in the next 2-3 years
The SIGACT executive committee has explored ways to have STOC return to its role as a place to bring the theoretical computer science community together. A website with a proposal and comments (http://futureofstoc.blogspot.com/) was established to continue the discussion.
The academic job market remains a serious concern as there were few tenure-track positions available at major research institutions forcing many young researchers into multiple postdocs.
Funding and articulating the importance of theoretical computer science are perennial issues that are being addressed by the Committee for the Advancement of Theoretical Computer Science (CATCS).
The funding situation has improved greatly at NSF, but there is a need for the theory community to submit more high quality proposals in order to maintain or improve the funding levels. We are seeing a turnover at every level from NSF director to the theory program director. None of these positions have yet been officially filled and we need members of the theory community willing to take leadership roles at the NSF.
SIGAda FY’10 Annual Report
July 2009 - June 2010
Submitted by: Ricky E. Sward, Chair
Started in 1994, the ACM SIGAda Awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the Ada community and to SIGAda. The Outstanding Ada Community Contribution Award is given for broad, lasting contributions to Ada technology and usage. The Distinguished Service Award is given for exceptional contributions to SIGAda activities and products.
This year the Outstanding Ada Community Contribution Award was awarded to:
Pascal Obry – Pascal has been a long time user and promoter of Ada. He is an active member of Ada-France and has contributed many outstanding Ada components. These include AWS for web applications in Ada, template parsers for generating web pages and practically anything that needs be dynamically generated, Ada Posix binding for windows, and a multi-language style checker.
The Distinguished Service Award was awarded to Ricky E. “Ranger” Sward this year:
Ricky E. Sward – As the Vice Chair for Meetings and Conferences, Ranger was instrumental in organizing several highly technically and financially successful ACM SIGAda Conferences. He was elected as ACM SIGAda Chair due to his outstanding service to SIGAda. He has conducted state-of-the-art, popular tutorials at SIGAda conferences on Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). He also presented important papers at SIGAda conferences on SOA and unmanned aircraft projects at the USAF Academy.
Significant Papers published in proceedings
This year’s conference included three outstanding keynote speeches. The keynote speakers presented on the following topics:
Richard Schmidt from Lockheed Martin – An Ada Retrospective: Developing Large, Mature, Reliable Systems
John Knight from the University of Virginia – Echo: A New Approach to Formal Verification Based on Ada
J. C. Smart from Raytheon – A Look at Ada from Both Sides Now
There were several outstanding papers in the conference this year with equally outstanding presentations. For example:
Use of SPARK in a Resource Constrained Embedded System by C. Loseby, P. C. Chapin, and C. Brandon from Vermont Technical College.
A Robotics API Dialect for Type-Safe Robots: Translating Myro to Ada by Alex S. Mentis from the US Military Academy at West Point.
Complementing Ada with Other Programming Languages by S. Tardieu and A. Polti from the Institut Télécom/Télécom ParisTech in Paris, France.
Distributed Container: A Design Pattern for Fault Tolerance and High Speed Data Exchange by T. Dinh from Northrop Grumman Corp. and S. Barkataki from California State University, Northridge.
Overall, the papers being submitted to the SIGAda conference continue to be of high quality.
Significant Programs that provided a springboard for further technical efforts
A formal liaison exists between SIGAda and WG9. ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22 WG9 is that body of international representatives responsible for the maintenance and evolution of the Ada International Standard. The National Bodies represented on WG9 are Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
In March 2007 the ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) in Geneva, Switzerland announced the formal completion of the process to revise the Ada 95 language, with the publication of the Ada 2005 standard — officially named ISO/IEC 8652:1995/Amd 1:2007. This announcement culminates a collaborative international effort under ISO's Ada Working Group (WG9) to enhance the 1995 version of the Ada language.
At least one SIGAda Officer participates and represents the membership at the WG9 meetings held twice each year.
Innovative Programs which provide service to some part of our technical community
Since 1994 SIGAda has conducted an "Ada Awareness Initiative". Its centerpiece has been our SIGAda professional booth display unit in exhibition halls at important software engineering conferences. This lets folks know that Ada is very much alive and a sound part of any software engineering effort having real-time, high integrity, high-assurance, and highly distributed requirements. We brought the booth to the SIGCSE conference and the Software and Systems Technology Conference (SSTC). Attendance at the SSTC conference continues to decline, so we need to reconsider if this is the right conference to bring our booth to.
Via this exhibiting, SIGAda sustains Ada visibility ("name recognition"), provides various Ada-advocacy materials and makes available Ada experts (our booth staff volunteers) who can intelligently answer questions, provide pointers and help, and debunk the misinformation about Ada that many attendees at these shows have. This program continues to be extremely successful and viewed as a highly important thrust by the SIGAda membership. SIGAda graciously acknowledges and thanks the Ada Resource Association (ARA), a consortium of Ada vendors, for their financial support of SIGAda's Ada Awareness Initiative and our booth activities.
Summary of key issues to deal with in the next 2-3 years
One of the key issues for SIGAda is continuing to host a financially successful conference. Last year continued the decline in profits from the conference. We will continue to encourage our SIGAda members to participate in and to attend the conference.
In order to ensure the conference revenue is appropriate, the Chair and Treasurer have been examining the current fee structure and compensation policy for the SIGAda conference. We have established a clear policy that is fair and reasonable for attendees of the conference. The SIGAda 2010 conference registration chair has the responsibility to enforce that policy.
We will continue to publish three issues of the Ada Letters journal and seek participation in the form of contributing articles and papers. We continue to look for a replacement for the current Managing Editor because he has moved up to Vice Chair for Meetings and Conferences.
SIGAPP FY’10 Annual Report
July 2009- June 2010
Submitted by: Sung Shin, Chair
The SIGAPP mission is to further the interests of the computing professionals engaged in the development of new computing applications and applications areas and the transfer of computing technology to new problem domains.
Chair - Sung Shin, South Dakota State University, USA
Vice Chair - Richard Chbeir, Bourgogne University, Dijon, France
Secretary – W. Eric Wong, University of Texas, USA
Treasurer - Lorie Liebrock, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, USA
Web Master - Hisham M. Haddad, Kennesaw State University, USA
ACM Program Coordinator, Irene Frawley, ACM HQ
Status of SIGAPP
The main event that took place within SIGAPP for this year was the Symposium on Applied Computing (SAC) in Switzerland after taking place in Honolulu, Hawaii for 2009. This year's SAC was very successful. More details about SAC will follow in the next section. We also supported several additional conferences with in-cooperation status, and will continue supporting additional conferences in the coming year.
SIGAPP’s website was redesigned in April 2010. This effort was supervised by Hisham Haddad, SIGAPP Webmaster, in April 2010. A logo design contest was announced in Fall 2009 for the design of a brand new SIGAPP logo. The contest resulted in a number of options, from which SIGAPP officers have selected the new logo that will be the official logo of SIGAPP. The logo will be integrated into the new website, and it will be used in other SIGAPP related materials such as the newsletter, SAC proceedings, and the Applied Computing Review.
I’m pleased to announce the reissuing of ACR (Applied Computing Review). ACR is the newsletter of ACM SIGAPP. It hasn’t been published since 2002 and has been strongly desired by the members of SIGAPP. We’re introducing it semi-annually in an electronic version. Once the format has stabilized, we’ll begin publishing quarterly electronically and in print. Ultimately, we want ACR to appear in the SCI (Science Citation Index). The first issue of ACR includes invited papers from world-renowned researchers and selected papers presented by prominent researchers and professionals from the Symposium on Applied Computing 2010 in Sierre, Switzerland. The selected papers have been extended, revised, and peer-reviewed again for publishing in ACR. ACR will serve as a platform for many new and promising ideas in the many fields of applied computing. The papers in this issue of ACR represent the current applied computing research trends.
The Student Travel Award Program continues to be successful in assisting SIGAPP student members in attending conferences sponsored by or in-cooperation with SIGAPP. 24 students were granted awards to attend SAC 2010, representing 14 countries. This was a bit less than last year, but we supported everyone who applied to the Travel Award Program. The allocated budget of these awards was increased compared to last year. We also implemented a Developing Countries Travel Award for researchers from developing countries who would otherwise have difficulty attending the SAC conference. For 2010, this award was used exclusively for students from developing countries but in 2011 and beyond, we also hope to support faculty-level researchers from such countries.
SIGAPP continues to have a stable membership. SIGAPP's and SAC's strength and uniqueness among ACM SIGs continues to be the opportunity for scientific diversity and crosscutting multiple disciplines within the ACM community. The officers look forward to continue working with the ACM SGB to further develop the SIG by increasing membership and developing a new journal on applied computing.
Status of SAC
The 25th Annual edition of SAC has marked another successful event for the Symposium on Applied Computing. This international gathering attracted over 490 attendees from over 70 countries. It was hosted and held on the campus of University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO) in Sierre, Switzerland, March 2010. The Monday Tutorial program offered 8 tutorials and attracted over 60 attendees. The program included coffee breaks and a social luncheon that took place in a nice historic restaurant located near the campus. The four-day technical program included over 340 presentations from forty tracks covering a wide range of topics on applied computing. The successful posters programs attracted over 80 posters that were presented over two sessions on Wednesday. Thanks to a great organizing committee, it was extremely successful. The number of SAC papers submitted was 1353, the highest ever, and the final acceptance rate for SAC 2010 is 26.9% for the overall track
For next year, SAC 2011 will be hosted on the campus of Tunghai University, located in Taichung, Taiwan, from March 21st to 25th, 2011. The website http://www.acm.org/conferences/sac/sac2011/ provides further details such as the symposium committee, technical tracks, and track chairs.
For the following year, SAC 2012 location has been decided. It will be held in Riva del Garda, conference center, Trento, Italy. The site was selected from three SAC host proposals received from Korea, Italy, and Portugal. There were no proposals for hosting SAC 2012 in the USA. SAC 2012 will be hosted by the Microsoft Research – University of Trento Centre for Computational and Systems Biology (CoSBi), in Trento, Italy.
a. Distinguished Service to SAC – Sung Shin
b. Outstanding Service to SIGAPP - Barrett R. Bryant
c. Student Travel Awards - 24 awards granted, totaling $12,671.15
Significant papers on new areas in applied computing:
A number of new tracks were offered in SAC 2010. They include the tracks on Bioinformatics, Computer Forensics, Power-Aware Designed Optimization, Privacy on Web, and Applications of Evolutionary Computing.
Significant programs that provided a springboard for further technical efforts:
SAC continues to have tracks that represent application areas which are not covered by other SIGs. SAC has always been wide open to new areas in applied computing.
Innovative programs which provide service to some part of your technical community:
Programs include the expansion of Student Travel Award Program for SIGAPP student members, and the initiation of Developing Countries Travel Award Program for students and faculty.
A very brief summary for the key issues that the membership of that SIG will have to deal with in the next 2-3 years:
Membership improvement, expansion of student travel awards, development of electronic newsletter, reissuing of ACR, and the development of a refereed journal in Applied Computing.
SIGARCH FY’10 Annual Report
July 2009- June 2010
Submitted by Doug Burger, Chair
The primary mission of SIGARCH continues to be the forum where researchers and practitioners of computer architecture can exchange ideas. SIGARCH sponsors or cosponsors the premier conferences in the field as well as a number of workshops. It publishes a quarterly newsletter and the proceedings of several conferences. It is financially strong with a fund balance of over two million dollars.
The SIGARCH bylaws are available online at http://www.acm.org/sigs/bylaws/arch_bylaws.html.
Officers and Directors
During the past fiscal year Doug Burger served as SIGARCH Chair, David Wood served as Vice Chair, and Kevin Skadron served as Secretary/Treasurer. Margaret Martonosi, Krste Asanovic, Bill Dally, and Sarita Adve served on the board of directors, and Norm Jouppi also served as Past Chair. In addition to these elected positions, Doug DeGroot continues to serve as the Editor of the SIGARCH newsletter Computer Architecture News, and Nathan Binkert was appointed as the new SIGARCH Information Director, providing SIGARCH information online. Rob Schreiber serves as SIGARCH's liaison on the SC conference steering committee.
The Eckert-Mauchly Award, cosponsored by the IEEE Computer Society, is the most prestigious award in computer architecture. SIGARCH endows its half of the award, which is presented annually at the Awards Banquet of ISCA. Bill Dally of NVidia and Stanford University received the award in 2010, "For outstanding contributions to the architecture of interconnection networks and parallel computers.” Last year, SIGARCH petitioned ACM to increase the ACM share of the award to $10,000, using an endowment taken from the SIGARCH fund balance, which ACM has approved. The increase will happen when IEEE approves a matching increase, which will increase the amount of the award to $20,000.
SIGARCH has endowed the Maurice Wilkes Award, an award established to recognize computer architects early in their careers, named after one of the pioneers of computer architecture who began making significant contributions early in his career. The award is selected by a vote of the Executive Committee and Board of SIGARCH, from a list of nominees supplied by a three person nominating committee. The 2010 award went to Andreas Moshovos of the University of Toronto, ‘for foundational contributions to the area of memory dependence prediction.’
SIGARCH also cosponsors, along with the IEEE-CS TCCA, the Influential ISCA Paper Award which is presented annually at the ISCA conference. This award recognizes the paper, presented at the ISCA conference 15 years previously, which has had the most impact on computer architecture. The sixth Influential ISCA Paper Award was presented to Dean Tullsen, Susan Eggers, and Hank Levy for their paper "Simultaneous Multithreading: Maximizing On-Chip Parallelism" which appeared in the proceedings of the 22nd ISCA (1995).
In 2009, SIGARCH and the ASPLOS co-sponsors (SIGPLAN and SIGOPS) approved the creation of an ASPLOS Best Paper Award, the first one of which was awarded in 2009. The Award is determined by a vote of the Program Committee, and announced at the conference. Starting in 2011, ASPLOS will also award an ‘Influential Paper Award,’ modeled after the award presented at ISCA.
In 2007 the ACM Awards Committee approved the establishment of the SIGARCH Distinguished Service Award, for ‘important service to the Computer Architecture community.’ The fourth recipient was Mary Jane Irwin of the Pennsylvania State University, who spent many years serving on the SIGARCH board/executive positions, and has represented SIGARCH's research community on national committees as well. Nominations each year are due February 15th, and can be sent to the SIGARCH Secretary/Treasurer at any time.
SIGARCH is a co-sponsor of the new Ken Kennedy Award. The ACM-IEEE CS Ken Kennedy Award is awarded annually and recognizes substantial contributions to programmability and productivity in computing and substantial community service or mentoring contributions. The award includes a $5,000 honorarium and the award recipient will be announced at the SC Conference. The recipient will give a presentation, normally technical, at the SC conference at which it is announced, or at an ACM or IEEE conference of the winner's choosing during the year following the announcement. The 2009 recipient of the Ken Kennedy Award was Francine Berman.
Four of the above awards, the Eckert-Mauchly Award, the Maurice Wilkes Award, the Influential ISCA Paper Award, and the SIGARCH Distinguished Service Award were presented at ISCA 2010 in St. Malo, France.
SIGARCH was fortunate to have its nominees selected for the ACM Athena Lecturer award in both 2009 and 2010. In 2009, Susan Eggers was nominated by SIGARCH, and received the award, giving her award lecture at PLDI 2010. In 2010, Mary Jane Irwin was nominated by SIGARCH, and received the award, giving her award lecture at ISCA 2010. This award is quite competitive and is a testament to the strength of the SIGARCH community that two of its members received the award in back-to-back years.
SIGARCH is a 50% cosponsor of ISCA, the International Symposium on Computer Architecture, which is the premier conference in the field of computer architecture. The 37th annual ISCA (ISCA 2010) was held in St. Malo, France. Andre Seznec was the General Chair and Uri Weiser and Ronny Ronen were Program Co-Chairs. ISCA 2011 will be held in San Jose, CA as a part of FCRC, with Qing Yang and Ravi Iyer as General Co-Chairs, and Antonio Gonzalez as Program Chair. The location of ISCA 2012 has not yet been finalized, but a site bid exists for Portland, OR.
The SC'XY Conference is jointly sponsored by SIGARCH and the IEEE Computer Society. Formerly known as the Supercomputing Conference, the conference has successfully evolved away from its focus on supercomputers and is now the High Performance Networking and Computing Conference. In addition to its technical success, SC'XY is large enough that it must be scheduled many years in advance. SC 2009 was in Portland, OR. SC 2010 will be held in New Orleans, LA.
SIGARCH is a cosponsor of the Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, commonly known as ASPLOS, along with SIGPLAN and SIGOPS. The conference had been held biannually since 1982, alternating its location between San Jose and Boston. Starting in 2008 the conference has been held annually. ASPLOS 2010 was held in Pittsburgh, PA, with Vikram Adve of Illinois serving as Program Chair and James Hoe of CMU serving as General Chairs. ASPLOS 2011 will be held in southern California with Rajiv Gupta serving as General Chair and Todd Mowry serving as Program Chair. ASPLOS 2012 will be held in London, UK with Tim Harris serving as General Chair and Michael Scott serving as Program Chair.
SIGARCH sponsors the International Conference on Supercomputing (ICS). ICS 2010 took place in Tsukuba, Japan. Taisuke Boku was the General Chair, and Hiroshi Nakashima and Avi Mendelson were the Program Co-Chairs. ICS 2011 will be held in Tucson, AZ, with David Lowenthal as General Chair and Sally McKee and Bronis R. de Supinski as Program Co-Chairs.
The nineteenth Symposium on Parallel Algorithms and Architectures (SPAA 2010), jointly sponsored by SIGARCH and SIGACT, was held in Santorini, Greece in June. Friedham Meyer auf der Heide was General Chair and Cynthia Phillips was Program Chair. SPAA 2011 will be held in San Jose, CA as a part of FCRC.
SIGARCH is one-half co-sponsor of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Grid Computing. Grid '09 was held in Banff, Colorado. Dieter Kranzimueller of LRU and LRZ, Germany, and Jill Kowalchuk of Cybera, Canada, were the General Co-Chairs, and Paul Lu of the University of Alberta was the Program Chair. Grid'10 will be held in Brussels, Belgium, with Neil P Chue Hong as General Chair and Laurent Lefevre as Program Chair.
SIGARCH is one-half cosponsor of the International Symposium on High Performance Distributed Computing. HPDC'10 was held in Chicago, IL in June. Kate Keahey and Salim Hariri were the General Co-Chairs, and Peter Dinda was the Program Chair. HPDC'11 will be held in San Jose, CA as part of FCRC, with Arthur Maccabe as General Chair and Douglas Thain as Program Chair.
SIGARCH is one-third cosponsor of the Conference on Parallel Architectures and Compiler Techniques (PACT), along with the IEEE Computer Society and IFIP, and annually held in the fall. PACT 2009 took place in Raleigh, North Carolina in September. Sally McKee of Chalmers University and Martin Schulz of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory were the General Co-Chairs. Bronis R. de Supinski and Frank Mueller of North Carolina State University were the Program Co-Chairs. PACT 2010 will be held in Vienna, Austria, in September 2010 with Valentina Salapura as General Chair and Michael Gschwind and Jens Knoop as Program Co-Chairs.
SIGARCH is one-fourth co-sponsor of the Symposium on Architectures for Networking and Communications Systems (ANCS). The fifth ANCS was held in Princeton, NJ in October of 2009. Peter Onufryk of IDT and K.K. Ramakrishnan of AT&T Labs were the General Co-Chairs, and Patrick Crowley of Washington University and John Wroclawski of USC were the Program Co-Chairs. ANCS 2010 will be held in La Jolla, CA, with Bill Lin as General Chair and Ravi Iyer and Jeffrey Mogul as Program Co-Chairs.
In 2007 SIGARCH was a founding co-sponsor of the International Symposium on Networks-on-Chips (NOCS). NoCS 2010 was held in May in Grenoble, France, with Luca Benini and Luca Carloni as Program Co-Chairs and Fabien Clermidy and Marcello Coppola as General Co-Chairs. NOCS 2011 will be held in Pittsburgh, PA in May, with Radu Marculescu and Mike Kishinevsky as General Co-Chairs, and Ran Ginosar and Karam Chatha as Program Co-Chairs.
SIGARCH also became a cosponsor of the International Conference on Autonomic Computing (ICAC) in 2007. ICAC 2010 was held in Washington, DC in June. Manish Parashar of Rutgers was the General Chair and Renato Figueiredo and Emre Kiciman were the Program Co-Chairs. ICAC 2011 will be held in Karlsruhe, Germany, with Hartmut Schmeck and Wolfgang Rosenstiel as General Co-Chairs, and Tarek Abdelzaher and Joe Hellerstein as Program Co-Chairs.
In addition to the above conferences, SIGARCH has taken a small sponsorship position, or in-cooperation status, with several other conferences. SIGARCH has ceased to be a minor sponsor of the International Conference on High Performance Computing (HiPC), held annually in December and alternating between Bangalore and Hyderabad, India, but is now in cooperation with HiPC. SIGARCH also has a small sponsorship position in SenSys, a conference on Sensor Systems. In addition, SIGARCH has in-cooperation status with TridentCom, DOCSS, Euro-Par, GridNets, and Nano-Net.
In the past, SIGARCH supported travel grants to students who attended ISCA or ASPLOS. The precise amount of the grants depends on the number of students who apply, but we have made an attempt to give at least a modest grant to every student coauthor that applied. For ISCA 2010, SIGARCH matched NSF funding of $20K with matching funding from IEEE TCCA ($4.8K), and used these funds to support 79 applications for student travel grants. SIGARCH has now broadened travel grants to other SIGARCH-sponsored conferences, and has finalized the allocation to each conference, based on revenue increases to SIGARCH and the percentage sponsorship of the conference. The grants are restricted to student members of SIGARCH, following several votes of the SIGARCH membership. The allocation to each conference is set by dividing the travel grant budget by number of attendees, giving an extra 33%
allocation to international conferences, and a small additional budget (~10%) to ISCA as the flagship conference.
In 2007 SIGARCH sponsored a companion travel grant program for ISCA, which includes child-care costs for SIGARCH-sponsored conferences. This program provides funds for travel grants to attend ISCA 2007 for a companion care-provider for a SIGARCH member who are either (1) a person with a physical disability necessitating a companion, or (2) a parent of an infant less than one year old who cannot travel without the infant and a care-provider for the infant. This program is similar to SIGPLAN's child care/companion travel grant program. This program was presented to other SIGs at a SIG Governing Board (SGB) meeting, and may be adopted by other SIGs in the future as a best practice. In 2009, SIGARCH had four applications for such travel grants.
SC Conference Grants
In 2009, the SC leadership requested $448,051 in funds for special projects related to the SC community. At final budgeting, $278,509 was spent on SC'09 special projects. For FY'10, $273,528 has been budgeted for SC special projects.
CAN (Computer Architecture News), SIGARCH's newsletter, is published 5 times a year. Of those five, the ISCA Proceedings form a special issue, and the ASPLOS Proceedings is likewise distributed as a special issue. The regular issues of the newsletter consist of technical contributions, reports of panels, Internet nuggets (the most interesting or controversial articles from the comp.arch newsgroup), book reviews, and calls for papers. There are occasional single topic special issues based principally on workshops. Proceedings of SC, SPAA and ICS are available through the Member Plus program. In 2009, SIGARCH began offering a new electronic membership for regular members and students, at reduced cost with no proceedings mailed. Currently, 270 of SIGARCH's members have registered under the electronic membership option.
SIGARCH enjoys a healthy fund balance that is currently larger than the $2.2M fund balance required by the ACM for sponsorship of SIGARCH conferences for FY'11. The projected SIGARCH fund balance for FY'10 is $3,187,060. SIGARCH loses money on each member, but makes money on average from conferences. The SC conference often has a large surplus due to its exhibition component. SIGARCH and the SC Steering Committee have an agreement that some of the future profits from SC'XY will be in large part returned to the SC community, in the form of a series of project-oriented grants (to be matched by the other sponsor of SC'XY, the IEEE Computer Society). The grant amounts are capped by the average surplus over the first two of the previous three years.
In 2008 the SIGARCH Chair submitted proposed changes to the SIGARCH Bylaws, making leadership positions gender-neutral, and adding the role and title of the SIGARCH Information Director. The Bylaw changes were approved in 2009.
SIGARCH membership was declining gradually since 1999, dropping from 1452 in 2005 to 1344 in 2009, but has started to recover, increasing by 45 to 1389 in 2010. SIGARCH's membership retention rate was the highest among all of ACM's SIGs in 2007, at 80%, with all three of the membership categories (SIG-only members, student, and professional members) all gradually increasing last year. The new electronic-only membership, available at reduced cost, will likely help to grow membership. Last year, 270 of SIGARCH's members became electronic-only members. ISCA, SIGARCH's flagship conference, continues to be healthy and show attendance near the top of historical levels.
SIGARCH supports child care and companion support travel programs to conferences, although participation since approval of these programs has been low. Reimbursement for child care is capped at $1000 per conference. SIGARCH has also formalized funding levels for its travel grant program, and now provides a level of support to all conferences that SIGARCH sponsors at a 33% level or higher, which previously was only provided to the ISCA and ASPLOS conferences. At ISCA 2010, SIGARCH partnered with the National Science Foundation and IEEE to provide $44,500 total in student travel grants ($20,000 of which came from SIGARCH), providing 79 total awards to students. SIGARCH awarded a total of $70K in student travel across all conferences in 2010. Also in 2010, SIGARCH co-sponsored (with Microsoft Research) the ACM Turing Lecture held at ISCA 2010, with each institution contributing $20K for the lecture and banquet.
SIGARCH remains a financially healthy institution with an enthusiastic membership. The interest of its members can be gauged by the health of all of its major conferences in the past year. The challenges remain as they have in previous years: how to better serve our members, how to encourage other members of the architecture community to join, how to help steer the community as the nature of our field changes, and how to use our fund balance most effectively.
SIGART FY’10 Annual Report
July 2009 - June 2010
Submitted by: Maria Gini, Past Chair
The scope of SIGART consists of the study of intelligence and its realization in computer systems. These include areas such as autonomous agents, intelligent user interfaces, knowledge discovery, human-language technology, cognitive modeling, knowledge representation, planning, scheduling, logic programming, problem solving, search, connectionist models, machine learning, robotics, and computer vision.
Activities during 2009/2010:
SIGART's elections were held in 2010, with the following candidates:
Yolanda Gil (USC/ISI)
Subbarao Kambhampati (Arizona State University)
Kevin Daimi (University of Detroit Mercy)
Qiang Yang (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
Gautam Biswas (Vanderbilt University)
Christopher H. Brooks (University of San Francisco)
The officers elected (Yolanda Gil, Qiang Yang, and Gautam Biswas) have plans for expanding the visibility and reach of SIGART, in particular in the Far East. Having the Vice-Chair from that region will greatly improve the ability of SIGART to reach the growing community there.
The ACM SIGART Autonomous Agents Research Award is an annual award for excellence in research in the area of autonomous agents.
The 2010 ACM SIGART Autonomous Agents Research Award recipients are Prof. Jonathan Gratch and Prof. Stacy Marsella from the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, who share the award for their significant and sustained contributions to autonomous agents and multiagent systems in the area of virtual agents, in particular in emotion modeling and social simulation. Their agent models have vastly contributed to the field of embodied conversational agents. Their work balances theoretical and engineering achievements, allowing the understanding of the factors and processes underlying how emotion affects behaviors. They have also proposed a novel way to validate computational models of human emotions. Their work has been applied to large projects in multiple application domains such as interactive drama and serious games.
SIGART co-sponsored the following conferences:
ASE (Automated Software Engineering, November 2009, Auckland, New Zealand), IUI (Intelligent User Interfaces, February 2010, Hong Kong) HRI (Human Robot Interaction, March 2010, Osaka, Japan), IAT (Intelligent Agent Technology, September 2009, Milan, Italy), and KCAP (Knowledge Capture, September 2009, Redondo Beach, California)
In addition, SIGART cooperated with many international conferences, such as:
AAMAS (Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, May 2010, Toronto, Canada), BIOSTEC (Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies, January 2010, Valencia, Spain), FDG (Foundations of Digital Games, June 2010, Monterey, California), ICAART (Agents and Artificial Intelligence, January 2010, Valencia, Spain), ICEC (Electronic Commerce, August 2009, Taipei, Taiwan), IEA/AIE (Industrial & Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence & Expert Systems, June 2010, Cordoba, Spain), IVA (Intelligent Virtual Agents, September 2009, Amsterdam, Netherlands), LCTES (Languages, Compilers, and Tools for Embedded Systems, April 2010, Stockholm, Sweden) PerMIS (Performance Metrics for Intelligent Systems, September 2009, Gaithersburg, MD), RuleML (RuleML Symposium on Rule Interchange and Applications, November 2009, Las Vegas, Nevada), SASO (Self-Adaptive and Self-Organizing Systems, September 2009, San Francisco, California), SMART GRAPHICS (June 2010, Banff, Canada)
4. Educational Activities
a. SIGART awarded a number of scholarships to students to attend the conferences co-sponsored by SIGART. The amounts of scholarships varied from $1,000 to $10,000 per conference, depending on the conference size. Funding students is a good way of ensuring long term growth and vitality of the AI community and a good investment for the future.
b. SIGART co-sponsored, with AAAI, the annual SIGART/AAAI Doctoral Consortium. The Doctoral Consortium, held in conjunction with the 2009 IJCAI conference, provided an opportunity for Ph.D. students to discuss in depth their research interests and career objectives with the other participants and a group of established AI researchers that act as individual mentors. Presentations and discussions took place over two days of intense meeting prior to the IJCAI conference. Notice that there was no AAAI conference in 2009, since IJCAI was held in the USA.
5. Plans for the future
* Increase services for members, specifically adding contents to the Web page and expanding the activities and visibility of SIGART in particular in the Far East.
* Continue supporting communities related to AI in a broad sense. SIGART will continue expanding the areas covered by co-sponsored and in-cooperation conferences to ensure that communities that work in AI or find inspiration from AI topics maintain ties with AI. This will increase the visibility of SIGART and help the growth of new communities.
* Improve connections with the AI societies in other countries.
SIGBED FY’10 ANNUAL REPORT
July 2009 - June 2010
Submitted by: Marilyn Wolf, Chair