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ACML: Asian Conference on Machine Learning



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:

  • Opening and welcoming by the SC Chair or Co-Chair
  • Report from previous year's conference - financial summary
  • Update on the current conference
  • Presentation from the organizers of the next year's conference
  • Proposal for the next year plus one conference
  • General discussion

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.

  • The paper must fit the scope of ACML.

  • The paper must conform to the required format and page limitations.

  • The paper must be original, and must not be published or under consideration to be published elsewhere. Under this condition, double submission is allowed provided that 1) the other conference (most likely NIPS) allows to do so, 2) the author notifies both the conferences of their submission and 3) the author notifies which conference to choose when accepted by both conferences.

  • Plagiarism is unacceptable.
    • The verbatim copy and/or reuse of material (text, formula, graphics) from other published papers (either by the author or by other authors) without explicit citation, is considered to be plagiarism. Quotations should be clearly identified and include the appropriate citation. For example, "According to Smith and Jones (2007) '......'", or "'......' (Smith and Jones, 2007).
    • When a new submission is based on the authors or on another author's previously published works, the citation of the previous works should be clearly given in the new paper. Furthermore, the novel contribution of the current paper, which extends the previous works, should be clearly indicated.

  • This policy on plagiarism for ACML has benefited from the guidelines on how to handle plagiarism statement developed by the IEEE.

  • Authors of accepted papers can start working on the journal papers before the conference starts.

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:

  • Withdrawal, before proceedings are finalized.

    If none of the authors register for the conference/workshop before the required deadline, prior to the proceedings being finalized, the paper will be deemed as being withdrawn from the conference, and will not be included in the proceedings or the conference program.

  • Good faith no-show, after final program is published.

    When none of the authors can attend the conference for their paper presentation, due to unforeseen circumstances, the authors MUST inform the PC chairs immediately the situation arises. The authors are required to arrange for a delegate to present the paper at the conference/workshop, and the authors must identify the surrogate presenter to the PC chairs prior to the conference.

  • Bad faith no-show during conference.

    If the authors fail to inform the conference organizer of their change in circumstances and are not available for the presentation of their paper, the conference will inform the authors' organization. In addition, if the authors have a record of bad faith no-show with previous ACML conferences, future submissions to ACML conferences by the authors will be barred for up to three years.
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