By-Laws of the Asian Conference on Machine Learning

By-Laws of the Asian Conference on Machine Learning Updated and Approved by SC, Nov. 2014

By-Laws of the Asian Conference on Machine Learning

1. Objective of the Asian Conference on Machine Learning

The objective of the Asian Conference on Machine Learning (ACML) is to promote research and development of machine learning and related fields primarily in Asia and Oceania. ACML provids an international forum for researchers and industry practitioners to share their latest developments, new ideas, original research results and practical development experiences.

This conference attempts to meet the needs of a large and diverse constituency, which includes practitioners, researchers and educators.

The conference is managed by a Steering Committee, an Organizing Committee, and a Program Committee. The functions of each committee are described in the following sections.

2. The Steering Committee

2.1 Association Objectives

The ACML Steering Committee is an association of scientists, whose primary purpose is to encourage the scientific pursuit of research in machine learning in the Asia and Oceania.

The committee has oversight of the annual Asian Conference on Machine Learning, through the selection of hosts, guidance (if required) in the running of the conference, and provision (if requested) of seed money and money for awards and support of attendance at the conference.

With the above in mind, the major roles of the Steering Committee include: 1) selecting the sites and dates for future ACML meetings by reviewing the submitted proposals, 2) deciding General Chairs and Program Committee Chairs for future ACML meetings, which may be in response to the submitted proposals, 3) deciding keynote and invited speakers based on the candidates nominated by the General and Program Committee Chairs, and 4) governing financial issues and managing the ACML funds.

The Steering Committee has the final authority on every aspect related to the organization and management of ACML.

2.2 Committee Size and Composition

The target size of voting members of the Steering Committee is 11 with a distribution of representatives from countries of the region, which are divided into 5 categories with the number from each category indicated in parentheses: China (2), Japan (2), Australasia (2), Other Asian Countries/Regions (3) and Outside Asia-Australasia (2). If there is a vacancy in some category at some point in time, candidate of another category, if needed, can be invited to fill in the space.

2.3 Term of Members

The term of a Steering Committee member is three years with one possible renewal (six years intotal) and the member must leave the Steering Committee for at least a term of three years before becoming eligible to serve in the Steering Committee again. Any Steering Committee member (except member of ¡°Outside Asia-Australasia ¡±) who misses two meetings in the first term is not eligible for renewal.

In order to avoid excessive committee turnover, the initial Steering Committee members will have automatic first term renewal, and they are allowed two term renewals.

If a Steering Committee member is elected to Steering Committee Chair, a three-year chair term will start, and s/he is eligible to stay in the Steering Committee until the term ends. When the first chair term ends if the chair has already stayed in the Steering Committee for two consecutive terms (initial Steering Committee members for three consecutive terms), s/he must leave the Steering Committee. Steering Committee chair will be elected to honorary member, not eligible to become Steering Committee voting member again.

2.4 Honorary Membership

Honorary Steering Committee membership will be granted to those Steering Committee members who have served as the Steering Committee Chair/Co-Chair. Honorary Steering Committee members are appointed for life without obligation to attend any ACML conferences. They can attend the Steering Committee meeting, but do not cast votes in any committee meeting.

2.5 New Members

New Steering Committee members may be (s)elected from two sources:

1) Nomination of General Chair/Co-Chairs or Program Chair/Co-Chairs of the ACML conference by a current Steering Committee member.

2) Recommendation by at least three Steering Committee members for outstanding achievement and/or contribution to the Machine Learning community.

Selection from the first source requires a quorum of half of all Steering Committee members and the selection is made after the final report of the conference has been completed, i.e at the next year's steering committee meeting. Selection from the second source requires a quorum of two thirds of all Steering Committee members. These options will be used to ensure balanced committee representation for all countries. There is a maximum of two new members each year. The number added each year depends on positions available.

2.6 Chair and Co-chair of the Steering Committee

The Chair and the Co-chair of the Steering Committee is elected from among the Steering Committee members for a term of three years. The same Chair and the Co-chair can be elected for one additional term of three years. Generally, the Co-chair is expected to succeed the Chair, and a new Co-chair will be selected.

2.7 Steering Committee Meetings

A Steering Committee meeting must be held at each ACML. If necessary, interim meetings may be called by the Steering Committee Chair through electronic mail or by other means. Steering Committee members are expected to attend the Steering Committee meeting at each ACML. Members missing two meetings are considered withdrawn from the Committee (see 1.3).

2.8 Proxies

During meetings of the Steering Committee, each member has one vote. Proxy voting is only permitted on specific issues when the absent member gives advance notice of their vote to the SC Chair. Steering Committee members are to be informed sufficiently in advance of any known motions to be voted on during a forthcoming meeting.

2.9 Selection of Chaired Positions

The General Chairs and the Program Chairs of ACML are selected with advice and consent of the Steering Committee.

The General Chairs should be highly respected for their work in machine learning and their participation in activities in Asia and Oceania. In addition, they should have significant experience organizing international conferences (e.g., as program committee chairs or senior program committee members or area chairs of previous ACMLs).

One of the General Chairs shall be selected from the Program Chairs of previous ACML conferences or the Steering Committee members to maintain the continuity of conference management and to pass on advice and best practices from previous years.

It is especially important that the Program Chair(s) be active in the field and publish frequently in leading journals and conferences in machine learning. Their role is to encourage international participation in the conference and ensure the ongoing credibility and integrity of the conference. The Program Committee Chair(s) select the program committee members (including senior program committee members or area chairs) with the guidance of the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is free to accept or reject any recommendations for General Chairs and Program Committee Chair(s) in order to best promote the conference.

2.10 Constituting a Conference

The Steering Committee obtains, through open and informal solicitations, suggestions for any or all of the following: possible conference locations, names of individuals who are suitable to serve as General Chairs, and individuals who are suitable to serve as Program Chair(s). An individual or institution interested to propose and organize a future ACML should follow the steps listed below.

Written proposals for conference locations should be sent to the Chair of the Steering Committee directly or through any member of the Steering Committee significantly before the proposed conference date. The proposed conference location will be confirmed at either the first or second on-site SC meetings prior to the proposed conference.

Proposals shall list facilities, venue, proposed management, financial arrangements, a brief summary of the conference structure, and any other information required by the Steering Committee. Proposals must address any potential schedule conflicts with meetings in related fields.

Those wishing to host a future ACML Conference should make their intentions known sufficiently in advance of the proposal date so that any information required by the Steering Committee can be obtained in a timely manner, and other activities can be integrated into a program of interest to all.

The Steering Committee seeks proposals for programs with broad appeal. In particular, proposals can include tutorials, demonstration displays, interesting and dynamic invited speakers, workshops, and controversial panel discussions.

3. Organizing Committee

In each conference, the General Chairs, the Program Chair(s), Local Arrangement Chairs, and other selected chairs (for example, Tutorial Chair) form the Conference Organizing Committee. The Conference Organizing Committee is charged with the planning, running, and oversight of that conference to ensure that it meets the objectives stated in Section 1.

The General Chairs are responsible for the overall running of the conference, and serves as the Chairs of the Organizing Committee. The Chairs propose the Organizing Committee plan, which must be approved by the Steering Committee.

The Organizing Committee approves all major decisions concerning the conference. The General Chairs are responsible for the finances of the conference and for coordinating local arrangements. The General Chairs will appoint a Local Arrangements Chair who organizes the local arrangements committee. The General Chairs may also appoint other chair(s), e.g., Tutorial Chair, Workshop Chair, Publicity Chair, and other positions as necessary.

The General Chairs are responsible for obtaining all necessary financial support from conference sponsors.

4. Program Committee

The Program Chair(s) are responsible for planning the technical program of the conference.

4.1 Program Committee members

The Program Chair(s) will appoint individuals to serve in the program committee (with the advice and consent of the General Chairs and the Steering Committee). This includes both the regular members and the senior program members (or area chairs). The Program Committee should be diversified in terms of expertise and geographical distribution. Program Committee members shall be chosen on the basis of their technical qualifications and experience and should include individuals with expertise in machine learning. The Program Chair(s) should promote continuity by keeping committee members from the previous conferences.

4.2 Call For Papers

The Program Chair(s) will prepare the Call For Papers (with the Publicity Chair), send out notification of acceptance and rejection of submitted papers, and send out information to authors for submitting their final papers. The call for papers as well as individuals on the Program Committee shall encourage the submission of high quality papers.

4.3 Reviews of Submitted Papers

The Program Committee shall be responsible for reviewing all submitted papers, for submitting timely and informative reviews that provide authors with feedback about their papers. The Program Chair(s) will determine the procedures for reviewing and accepting papers for the program and assign the papers to each program committee member and senior program committee member (or area chair). Program committee members can seek expert advice from external reviewers, but they shall be responsible for having reviewed the papers themselves. Each paper shall be reviewed by at least three reviewers. The senior program committee members (or area chairs) do meta-review on the returned reviews for their assigned papers and mediate any discrepancies of the individual review results. If consensus cannot be reached or there are multiple concerns regarding a submission, addtional information and reviews may be requested. The PC Chair will be the final deciding authority."

In order to ensure that the PC considers all papers fairly, ACML employs a double-blind review system. All discussions regarding papers shall remain in confidence. The names of the authors shall not be revealed to the reviewers, nor shall the names of the reviewers be revealed to the authors.

English is the official language of the conference. While some consideration is given to the fact that English is not the native language for many contributors, the papers must be presented and written in a manner consistent with other technical English-language publications. It is strongly recommend that authors seek professional help or peer review to improve grammar and diction in their submissions.

5. ACML Funds

ACML maintains the funds that come from the revenue of each conference. The fund is stored in a separate bank account under the name of the SC chair or treasurer, and any expense from this funds needs an approval of the Steering Committee.

6. Non-profit Clause

The assets and income of the organization shall be applied solely in furtherance of its above-mentioned objects and no portion shall be distributed directly or indirectly to the members of the organization except as bona fide compensation for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the organization.

7. Amendments

Amendments to this Charter for the Asian Conference on Machine Learning require approval by two thirds of the members of the Steering Committee.


1. Conference Guide

The ACML Steering Committee provides oversight of the ACML series of conferences. Conferences are generally run autonomously, with reference to the steering committee for guidance. The following guidelines aim to capture the common understanding between the steering committee and the conference organizers.

1.1 Locations

The ACML conference series aims to support the emergence of ML research and technology in the Asia and Australasia regions. The conference locations are spread throughout the region. Whilst there is no explicit rule regarding location, the general principle is to move through the region from China, Japan/Korea, South/Southeast Asia, Australia/New Zealand, and other Asian and Australasian countries/regions from year to year.

The next year's conference is announced at the current conference's banquet dinner. Any decision regarding the conference two years hence is not announced until it is only one year hence.

1.2 Dates

The ACML conference is usually held in either October or November, and it is possible to move to September or December depending on local weather/environment conditions. The dates must be chosen so that there are no potential conflicts with the scheduling of other major conferences and workshops in the related fields.

1.3 Proposals

Proposals for hosting the conference are always welcome and should be sent to the Steering Committee chair or any other member of the Steering Committee for their support and presentation to the Steering Committee.

Proposals are considered at the Steering Committee's annual general meeting hosted by the conference. The bid for the coming year's conference is considered and the steering committee makes their final decision on which bid to proceed with. This will then be announced at the conference dinner.

Proposals for more than just the following year are also welcome and encouraged. This allows the steering committee to review the proposal early and to provide feedback for the final bid. The Steering committee can decide the location of the conference as early as two years ahead.

1.4 Financials

The ACML conference maintains ACML SC funds. Any use of the funds needs an approval of two thirds of the Steering Committee members.

If the conference ends up with a surplus, the surplus is split 50/50 with the ACML SC funds; if the conference ends up with a deficit, the deficit is shared 50/50 with the ACML SC funds to the most of 1000USD.

The surplus put into the ACML funds are only to be used in line with the ACML by-laws for the benefit of future conferences. An example of such use can include establishing awards and supporting students attending the conference in following years.

The surplus left to the conference organizers may be applied for any use benefiting research and researchers in machine learning in their area of responsibility. At the discretion of the conference organizers, the surplus funds can be used to establish awards and supporting students attending the conference in following years.

1.5 Registration Fees

Conference registration fees should be set at rates that are affordable to a wide range of potential delegates drawn from the region. The fees must be approved by the Steering Committee. Conference organisers should consult past conference fees for a guideline, but the Steering Committee will take account of local factors when considering proposed fees. Where local conditions require, the conference organizers may charge reduced fees for local attendees to encourage their participation.

1.6 General Chairs and Program Committee Chairs

The Steering Committee selects one of the general chairs from either the PC chairs of the past ACMLs or SC members. This is intended to provide continutity in the committee on best practices and preserve organizational knowledge from year to year.

The Steering Committee requests that a recognized international researcher in machine learning be appointed as the Program Committee Chair. Their role is to encourage international participation in the conference and ensures the ongoing credibility and integrity of the conference.

Co-chairs will also be appointed. One of the co-chairs will be identified as responsible for the administration of the paper submission and review system.

The organization and program committees for the coming year's conference should be agreed to and approved by the steering committee, finalized and confirmed by the time the conference is announced at the conference banquet.

Refer also to the ACML by-laws.

1.7 Invited Speakers

ACML uses the following process for all invited speakers.

The PC Chairs and General Chairs propose names and also ask the Steering Committee for nominations. Ideally we shall have one invited speaker from our regions (Asia-Australasia) and one from outside of our regions (Europe and America), and one from the hosting country.

The PC Chairs and the General Chairs create the list, and filter out anyone who has been an invited speaker in the past 4 years in ACML. The reason for this is to expose the ACML community to a diversity of opinions/view/ideas. This also helps to bring ACML to the notice of well regarded people outside of the existing ACML community, thus increasing its visibility.

The PC Chairs and the General Chairs rank the nominated candidates based on (i) their visibility, (ii) relevance of area, (iii) experience in speaking in other forums, etc. The top ranked candidate shall be the keynote speaker.

The PC Chairs select the top list and send it to the Steering Committee for approval. The Steering Committee can come back to the PC Chairs and the General Chairs with specific advice about exclusions.

With the final list approved by the Steering Committee, the PC Chairs invite the speakers. They must be careful not to invite anyone or make promises to anyone before the process has been completed and the Steering Committee approval obtained.

1.8 Submission Management Systems

The Steering Committee, based on feedback from past conferences, recommends the use of the free Microsoft conference system. Simply register at their web site.

Plagiarism is an important issue to be aware of. Papers can be searched for through Google, for example.

Please be sure to ask the submitter of a paper whether the paper is a student paper. A student paper would normally have a student as the first author and would register as a student, and are eligible for student paper awards.

1.9 Proceedings

The Steering Committee has contacted the series editor (Neil Lawrence) of JMLR and chose JMLR Conference Proceedings as the ACML proceedings. Program Committee Chairs should contact the series editor each year once the Program Committee is formed.

The Steering Committee should be listed in the Organization section.

1.10 Review Process

ACML maintains the high quality of the papers. Past ACML conference have had an acceptance rate from 15% to 30%. Do not exceed 30%.

Conference organizers have conflicts of interest whenever they are also authors of papers. The conference PC chairs must not be an author of any accepted papers. Similarly, tutorial chairs can not submit tutorial proposals and workshop chairs can not submit workshop proposals. Also, conference organizers can not present invited/keynote talks.

1.11 Conference Schedule

Three days is a good length. The first day is generally for workshops and tutorials. These are run in parallel.

The conference reception is often held on the evening of the day of the workshops and tutorials. Many attendees arrive that day. The reception often includes finger food, and often enough to make a light meal, but also allowing attendees to organize themselves to go out for dinner if they desire.

The conference organizers will arrange the steering committee meeting/dinner for the evening (after the reception or slightly before it finishes). The meeting runs for about 2 hours. The first hour covers the following agenda for all the SC plus invited guests from the current, previous and future conferences:

The remaining hour is for the SC only to discuss other items and to make decisions regarding future conferences and SC membership.

The next year's conference decision will be announced at the conference banquet. The conference organizer will also make a presentation at the banquet.

The second day is the opening of the main conference, often beginning with a keynote presentation. The coherence banquet is normally held in the evening.

The final day is a full day. Finishing the conference with a short closing ceremony can often be a good closing point. It also provides a definite end point, rather than simply fading out!

1.12 Awards

ACML has two kinds of paper awards: Best paper award and Best student paper award. Both awards are selected by the PC. For each award, no more than two runner-up can be awarded. Best student paper award comes with a 500USD grant to support travel, sponsord by ACML SC fund. The other paper awards are without monetary awards.

ACML does not have other awards now. In future we will consider a number of awards which is presented at the conference dinner as either plaques or certificates.

1.13 Final Program

A serious problem is the no-show. Authors have paid their registration to get their paper published, but don't turn up.

To avoid the possible deviation from the planned program, delay production of the final program as much as possible. Before final printing, get confirmation from each author that they can still attend or send a delegate to present for the author, and remove from the program those who can not.

Also refer to the ACML No-Show policy and direct authors to this policy so that it is very clear what our expectations are and what actions the conference organizers will take if the rules are breached.

1.14 Session Chairs

Session chairs must be organized prior to the conference and identified in the conference program.

Avoid having as a session chair one of the authors of a paper in the session. It tends to make it awkward for the chair to also present a paper. Be sure to remind all speakers during the opening to report to their session 5 minutes prior to the session time. Guidance for Chairs of ACML Sessions

Prior to the beginning of your session:

Please check "Program" on the Web Page in advance. Come to the room approximately 5 minutes before your session starts, and check that each speaker is in the room. In addition, confirm the pronunciation of the speaker's name and affiliation. If you find any problem with the environment of your session room, contact our volunteer who is in the room. The volunteer is identified by their name badge.

During and after your session:

At the beginning of your session, inform the speakers of the times allocated to their talks and discussions according to the conference program booklet. Keep the session on schedule. You are responsible to maintain the schedule accurately. Let all speakers use the microphone when it is provided. Take care of the speakers not to hide the screen from the audience. Remind every speaker their remaining time. Take note of "NO SHOW" presentations and inform the registration desk after your session. In case that a presentation ends earlier than the scheduled time or is a "NO SHOW", you may use the extra time for discussions among the audience and yourself, in order to cater for the schedule for the next presentation.

2. ACML Paper Submission Policy

The scope of ACML and the required format and page limitations are indicated in the Call For Papers of ACML.

3. No-Show Policy

ACML defines "no-show" as the author (or one of the authors) not being present at their allocated conference/workshop session for presentation of their paper. ACML categorizes no-shows and takes the identified actions as below: