SIGMM Annual Report

July 2002 - June 2003
Submitted by: Lawrence A. Rowe, SIGMM Chair

SIG Multimedia is a conference-only SIG, so activities focus on the annual conference.


ACM Multimedia 2002 (MM02) was held in Juan Les Pins, France from December 1-6, 2002. The General Chair was Prof. Bernard Merialdo (Institut EURECOM). Total attendance was 226. Net income was $43.9K, which was distributed to the supporting SIGs according to their participation (e.g., SIGCOMM: 10%, SIGGRAPH: 15%, and SIGMM: 75%). The attendance was 5% below the estimate attendance, which was 240. However, it matches the average attendance over the past three conferences (i.e., MM99 was 270, MM00 was 247, and MM01 was 199). Given that MM01 was severely impacted by the events of 9/11 and that attendance at all conferences has declined due to the economic situation and travel restrictions, the organizers did an excellent job.

The conference included eight half-day and one full-day tutorial sessions, two and one-half days of regular conference sessions, two demonstration sessions (22 demos), two poster sessions (39 posters), a video program that included application demonstrations (12 submissions and 8 acceptances) and figures for technical papers (5 submissions and 3 acceptances), three workshops, and a doctoral dissertation program. The regular conference was composed of fourteen refereed paper sessions (46 papers), one panel, and one keynote address. The keynote presentation was:

Multimedia, time to make it real
Dr. Leonardo Chiariglione (VP, Multimedia Telecom Italia Lab)

The conference program committee was divided into three subcommittees. This year the subcommittee chairs were: 1) Prof. Max Muhlhauser (TU Darmstadt) who oversaw the applications subcommittee, 2) Prof. Keith Ross (Institu EURECOM) who oversaw the systems subcommittee, and 3) Prof. Nevenka Dimitrova (Philips Research) who oversaw the media and content subcommittee. The accept ratio was 15% overall (46 accepted from 315 submissions). The number of submissions was comparable to past years. The breakdown by track is as follows:

Applications and Tools   16 of 91 accepted (18%)
Content and Media   19 of 130 accepted (15%)
Systems   11 of 94 accepted (12%)


This year we changed the student best paper competition. We modified the competition to include both the paper and the presentation at the conference. Three nominees for best paper were selected. Each student gave his or her presentation during a special highlighted session of the conference. An awards committee made up of senior researchers in the field met afterwards to select the winner. The winning entry was:

A Utility Framework for the Automatic Generation of Audio-Visual Skims
Student: Hari Sundaram (Arizona State University)
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Shih-Fu Chang (Columbia University)

Honorable mentions were given to the other two competitors:

PicToon: A Personalized Image-based Cartoon System
Student: Hong Chen (Xijian Jiaotong University)
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Nan-Ning Zheng (Xijian Jiaotong University)

Pixie: A Jukebox Architecture to Support Efficient Peer Content Exchange Student: Sami Rollins (UC Santa Barbara)
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Kevin Almeroth (UC Santa Barbara)

Feedback from the community was extremely positive about this change to the competition. We plan to continue this organization in future ACM Multimedia Conferences.

One panel titled Media Semantics: Who Needs It and Why? was organized by Drs. Chitra Dorai (IBM Research) and Frank Nack (CWI).

Three workshops were organized to coincide with the conference. Total attendance at the workshops was 93 participants. These workshops and the attendance were:

Workshop on Immersive Telepresence
Organizers: Dr. Gopal Pingali (IBM)
Prof. Ramesh Jain (GaTech)
Attendees: 39

Workshop on Multimedia Security: Authentication, Secrecy, and Steganalysis
Organizers: Prof. Jana Dittmann (Applied University Liepzig)
Prof. Jessica Fridrich (SUNY Binghamton)
Dr. Petra Wohlmacher (German Reg. Auth. Telecom & Posts)
Attendees: 21

Workshop on Multimedia Information Retrieval
Organizers: Prof. Sibel Adali (Rensselaer Polytechnic)
Prof. Yuichi Nakamura (U of Tsukuba}
Dr. Uma Srinavasan (CSIRO)
Attendees: 33

For the fourth year we held a doctorial symposium at which students working on their dissertation gave a presentation to members of the research community. Dr. Thierry Turletti (INRIA) organized the program this year. Five students were selected from the eight submissions to present their research. As in past years, both attendees and presenters were extremely positive about this program.

SIGMM also recognizes the significant contributions by others to the program, specifically, Profs. Wolfgang Effelsberg (U Mannheim) and Jean-Luc Dugelay (Institut EURECOM) who organized the tutorial program, Dr. Lynn Wilcox (FX PAL) who organized the video program, Dr. Nozha Boujemaa (INRIA) who organized the workshops, and Prof. Stephane Marchand-Maillet (U of Geneva) who organized the posters program. Finally, Prof. Benoit Huet provided exceptional help with local arrangements, Dr. Philippe Joly (IRIT) handled the print proceedings, and Dr. Andrejz Duda (IMAG) and Mr. Michael Vernick (Avaya) handled publicity.

Feedback about the conference was generally positive with no special concerns for future conferences. The entire organizing committee is to be commended.

Planning for ACM Multimedia 2003 is nearing completion. The conference will be held in Berkeley California from November 2-8, 2003. The program is being finalized and early feedback is positive. The General Co-chairs are Profs. Lawrence Rowe (UC Berkeley) and Harrick Vin (U Texas).

Planning for future ACM Multimedia conferences is also in progress. The General Co-chairs for MM04 are Dr. Nevenka Dimitrova (Philips Research) and Prof. Henning Schulzrinne (Columbia). The conference will be held in the New York area sometime in early November 2004. Current plans are to hold MM05 in China and MM06 in North America.


During the past year we have co-sponsored five conferences:

  1. IDMS/PROMIS: Multimedia Interactive Protocols and Systems (November 2003)

  2. SPIE/IS&T Multimedia Computing and Networking (Jan/Feb 2003)

  3. NetGames 2003: Second Workshop on Network and System Support for Games (May 2003)

  4. NOSSDAV 2003: 13 th International Workshop on Network and Operating Systems Support for Digital Audio and Video (June 2003)

SIGMM was financially responsible for NOSSDAV and provided in-cooperation support for the other conferences. Multimedia continues to be a popular topic. The ACM Multimedia Conference continues to be viewed as high quality and popular with the research community.


SIGMM was started as a conference-only SIG with a Steering Committee. Financial support was provided by SIGGRAPH and SIGCOMM, amongst other SIGs. Over the past several years, SIGMM has matured into a group that supports itself. We now are financially responsible for 75% of the costs of our activities, and our plan is to accept 100% responsibility in 2004.

The Steering Committee began with representatives of the research community and members from the SIGs that co-sponsored SIGMM. We have replaced that group with an Executive Committee composed of members of the research community. Prof. Lawrence Rowe (UB Berkeley) has been SIGMM chair for the past five years. At MM01, he announced his intention to step down at the end of June 2003. During the summer of 2002 the Executive Committee selected Prof. Ramesh Jain (GaTech) from a list of three nominations made by members of the research community to be the new SIGMM chair beginning in July 2003. Prof. Jain joined the Executive Committee this year. He has also participated in all SIGMM Chair activities so he will understand the responsibilities.

Profs. Wendy Hall (U of South Hampton) and Kevin Jeffay (UNC) stepped down from the Executive Committee as their participation in the multimedia research community has declined due to administrative responsibilities at their respective academic institutions.

The members of the Executive Committee for 2002-2003 were:

Ed Fox (Virginia Tech)
Nicolas Georganas (U of Ottawa)
Ramesh Jain (GaTech), Incoming Chair
Joseph Konstan (U of Minnesota)
Klara Nahrstedt (U of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
Lawrence Rowe (UC Berkeley), Chair
Ralf Steinmetz (Darmstadt)
Hongjang Zhang (Microsoft Research, China)

This committee is consulted for any major issues relating to the operation of SIGMM.


Three key issues are important for the SIGMM community.

First, the problems with the ACM/Springer Multimedia Systems Journal (MMSJ) continue. Prof. Klara Narhstedt (U of Illinois), the Editor in Chief, has stabilized the journal. Papers are being reviewed in a timely fashion and all issues scheduled have been submitted for printing on time. However, the status of this journal within ACM continues to frustrate the membership. ACM views it as a cooperative marketing arrangement with Springer. Members of the SIGMM research community view it as an ACM journal. Sadly, it is not an ACM journal because it is not listed on the ACM web pages that show ACM Journals nor is it archived in the ACM Digital Library (DL). Moreover, when financial credit is allocated to the SIGs for accesses to journals in the DL, SIGMM will not receive credit for the involvement with this journal. We need an ACM Multimedia journal. Discussions with the Publications Board indicate that it might make sense to terminate the joint marketing relationship and develop a new journal, but that will take time and energy by someone in the research community. This issue must be addressed in the next year.

Other operational issues continue to face the community. We need more volunteers to help with the SIGMM Website, and we need more time from leaders in the field, particularly to answer the many requests ACM generates. For example, several times ACM has approached SIGMM with the idea of developing a multimedia archive. This project is very important, but no one in the community was willing to undertake it.

Lastly, we still have a problem defining the field. The challenge we face is to broaden the activities of SIGMM to cover the activities and people normally considered doing multimedia that do not currently participate (e.g., multimedia title authors). Moreover, discussions at the past several conferences suggest that it is time to consider what are the fundamental principles and concepts that form the research area? And, how do they fit into a college or university curriculum? We also need to assess the state of the research  what problems have been solved and what are the grand challenges that researchers should be addressing. There is a continuing concern that there is not much multi in 5 multimedia research since most papers are concerned with only one media. Finally, opportunities exist to expand the scope of SIGMM activities. The SIGMM Executive Committee is organizing a retreat before MM03 in late October at which a selected group of senior members of the research community will discuss these issues and make recommendations to SIGMM and the research funding agencies. The results of this retreat will be discussed in next years annual report.

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