Minutes of the Saturday, September 20 - 21, 2003 SIG Governing Board Meeting
1.0 - Welcome, Introductions and Voting Process
The meeting began at 3:00 PM. Alan Berenbaum welcomed the attendees and each of the participants introduced themselves.
2.0 - Chartering of New SIG 2.1 - SIGEVO Summary
A pre-proposal for SIGEVO (SIG for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation) was brought to the attention of the SGB. Alan Berenbaum summarized the chartering process and explained that the back up included a pre-proposal stating the primary focus of the proposed SIG, the primary audience served, and the initial activities to be undertaken by the group.
SIGEVO will represent an opportunity for ACM to expand its SIG offerings in a low-risk manner. As GEC transitions from the laboratory to practice, ACM affiliation represents a way to broaden the impact of GEC ideas and technology.
No further discussion will take place until SIGEVO has presented a full proposal to the SGB EC.
3.0 - SIGIR Program Review (Jamie Callan)
Current SIGIR Officers:
- Chair - Jamie Callan
- Vice Chair - Fabrizio Sebastiani
- Secretary - David Lewis
- Treasurer - Justin Zobel
- Regional Representative - Noriko Kando
SIGIR has a strong quality and good international participation in conferences and publications. SIGIR continues to work on membership benefits, student involvement, and international appeal. The SIGIR proceedings package includes CIKM and JCDL conferences. The cost of this package is $30 per year and is an excellent deal for the members.
Member Services Summary:
- Best Paper and Best Student Paper Awards
- Student Travel Awards
- SIGIR Forum Newsletter
- Proceedings/Forum Online
- Proceedings Package (new)
- SIG-IRList�..Electronic Newsletter (new)
- New Author Mentoring (new)
- 25th Anniversary CD-ROM (new), and
- Automatic 1-year registration (new)
SIGIR member services in progress are to revamp the mailing list (to reduce overlap between SIGIR-Announce/ SIG-IR List and comply with spam laws), to investigate participation in SIGMOD-style CD/DVD packages, or do their own, and to develop a Doctoral Forum at SIGIR conferences.
The Doctoral Forum trail run was during the SIGIR 2004 Conference. The forum was set for senior PhD students to discuss dissertation with experience IR researchers and other students. In the future, this forum will occur on the "Tutorial" day by invitation based on application.
- 2204 - Sheffield, UK
- 2005 - San Salvador, Brazil
- 2006 - Seattle
- 2007 - Bids pending (Amsterdam, Toulouse)
- 2008 - Bid encouraged from Asia (Singapore, Korea, Japan, China, and Hong Kong)
Prior to 2002, SIGIR had zero percent sponsorship for conferences held outside of the United States. This was due to the perceived financial conference risk (with profits and losses remaining with the local organizations) and theoretically SIGIR was financially dependent on their US conferences. Now, SIGIR has fifty percent sponsorship conferences being held outside the United States. However, this topic will be revisited after the SIGIR 2004 Conference.
SIGIR does not support the growth of the fund balance. Their membership wants revenues returned in the form of risk-taking and/or benefits. However, this is somewhat at odds with ACM budgeting.
In overall SIGIR's outlook is to develop a strong international participation, to develop a successful conference in core regions, to continue improvement in services, to become more financially healthy, to be able and willing to take some risk with the monitoring of the SGB EC.
Motion - Move to accept the recommendation of the SGB EC to continue SIGIR as a multi-service SIG for the next four years.
(Chesnais, R. Walker)
4.0 - FCRC 2003 Report
Barbara Ryder presented this FCRC 2003 Report.
There were 41 conferences/workshops affiliated with FCRC, including the ACM Awards Banquet. The attendance exceeded expectations. Grants in total of $100K were contributed. FCRC depended on these grants without them the conference would have closed with a deficit. Among the industry contributors were Microsoft ($56K), Google ($20K), IBM, and Sun.
Close to 50% of the attendees were students, which was a concern since students usually make up about one-third of the entire conference attendance. It will be difficult to continue student activities unless the conference successfully secures donations.
In general the evaluations were very good, although not everyone liked the venue. Some conferences are typically held in high-end business hotels, and therefore, these attendees were not as pleased. The time of year appeared to be fine. A majority wanted to repeat this arrangement, and a few did not. The new attendees were excited and determined to get the most out of this complicated meeting.
The volunteers and staff were excited and Ryder felt that it was a great event. However, with the increase in activities, FCRC gets more problematical each time. Scheduling so many distinct events at the same time and in the same location is becoming more challenging. It is crucial to identify key volunteers, and to sustain a certain amount of flexibility among the conference leaders.
Barbara Ryder thanked all those that were involved with FCRC, in particular, Stuart Feldman (Plenary Speakers), and Donna Baglio (ACM). The SGB congratulated Barbara Ryder on a job well done at FCRC.
5.0 - Policy Program Update
Jeff Grove presented this report.
- Serve as the ACM liaison to Congress, regulatory agencies, and the science and technology policy community.
- Utilize ACM's significant technical expertise to assist policymakers in understanding the implications of complex IT policy issues.
- Engage the ACM membership and community in relevant policy discussions impacting computing and related disciplines (including SIGs)
ACM is engaging policy issues on a broader scale and in a more consistent manner through USACM, which includes several invitations to testify before Congress, filling a void in tech policy (proactive input) and frequently quoted by the media (IT beat - Wired, Business 2.0, and NY Times)
The program still needs to further refine our agenda, educate Council regarding policy developments and communicate with SIGs, ACM members and the public.
6.0 - Best and Worst Practices Session (All)
(1) SIGDA puts together a compendium to capture and archive research contributions that take place at their conferences. SIGDA uses leverage by stating if ACM doesn't do it, IEEE will and if IEEE doesn't do it, ACM will. SIGDA's compendium was presented to ACM and other SIGs with positive feedback.
(2) SIGMOD did a version of the compendium, but found it to be more costly than anticipated.
(3) SIGARCH is doing a compendium as well. The challenge is gathering outside copyright information. The data is more available now and if utilize ACM's data, it is already scanable and includes it accurately.
(4) SIGMICRO allows authors to rebuttal paper reviews. SIGMICRO had an incident when someone gave an obnoxious review and the Program Chair did not notice it and sent it to the author. That particular review was discarded and other reviews were counted. Software is available through Kemal Ebcioglu.
(5) SIGARCH states that we must be observant with the Program Committee because with additional activities can be difficult. Also, just as there is a page limit on papers, there should also be a page limit on rebuttals. Long rebuttal reviews makes the process harder to run.
(6) SIGCHI feels that more precise guidelines should be given to the authors and the Program Committee regarding the rebuttal reviews. This may be more work, but the outcome is better.
(7) SIGPLAN feels that depending on the percentage of papers receive; Program Chairs should not have the need to read every paper.
(8) Be cautious when entering a co-sponsored agreement with other organizers. SIGOPS recent USENIX agreement caused quite concern.
7.0 - Single SIG Designation
Mark Scott Johnson presented.
The current SIG designations (multi-service, conference-only, newsletter-only and e-forum) have outlived their usefulness and should be abolished. SIG viability should be based mainly on their ability to satisfy their member benefits as defined by the SIGs.
Johnson provided the SGB with some background. The last SIG Allocation algorithm was revenue-based with different revenue streams taxed at different rates. The rates were based on the SIGs designation (multi-service being highest and e-forum being lowest). SIG designations were intended to denote a member 'service level', not a hierarchy. All designations now pay at the same rate. However, most non-multi-service SIGs consider their designation a "penalty" to be disputed rather than the intended "helping hand" with the exceptions of SIGMICRO and SIGART. SIG viability is based on ability to satisfy goals and member obligations, as defined and promised by each SIG with most SIGs are assuming a level of service (usually multi-service, even if they're not). Each SIG is required to have.
A Mission Statement:
- Programmatic vehicles
Unfortunately only a few SIGs have actually gone thru this entire exercise. The proposed solution is to reduce administrative problems and revert to Single SIG Designation. Johnson suggests basing viability on the ability to satisfy member obligations, as defined and promised by each SIG (i.e., keep Mission Statement requirement). A Technical Program Goals and Milestones requirement should be dropped.
Motion - Move to accept the SGB EC recommendation to revert the current SIG categories of multi-service, conference-only, newsletter-only, and electronic forum to a single designation of SIG.
- All SIGs must provide a list of annual membership benefits, by November 15 each year. The list is required to remain viable.
- All conference-only and newsletter-only SIGs must update their bylaws to allow for elections during the next election cycle (2005 - 2007).
- SIGSOUND, the only e-forum SIG, is dechartered, but is permitted to continue their forum as long as they choose to.
(Chesnais, R. Walker)
8.0 - SGB EC Recommendations
8.1 - SIG Allocation Task Force Summary
Alain Chesnais presented the SGB with the SIG Allocation Task Force Summary.
The SIG allocation is a 'tax' levied on all SIGs. It helps pay for the cost of SIGs doing business. It is calculated based on total expenses. The rationale for reassessment of the allocation is to ensure it is fair and reflects SIG activities. The current allocation is based on total expense (a sales tax). Right now it is set at a minimum contribution of $15K (actual cost over $40K). The new variable rate is per $125K of total expenses and starts at 16% and it decreases by 0.8% for every $125K to a minimum of 5.35%.
A few SIGs are experiencing difficulty in achieving this allocation including startup SIGs and smaller SIGs). The current allocation does not adapt well to change. The current formula does not reflect changing budget requirements and will not allow SIGs to meet their allocation obligation.
Motion - Move to accept the following change in the allocation formula and minimum:
- Reduce minimal allocation to $10K
- New variable rate per $125K
- Start at 16% +delta
- Decrease by .8% every $125K
- Minimum of 5.35% +delta
- Delta calculated to adjust for budget variance based on previous year actuals
- Maximum of 2% for change
8.2 - Digital Library Revenue Sharing Task Force Summary
Robert Walker chair of the Task Force reported.
The SGB decided in March 2003 to distribute the SIG DL money directly to the SIGs in proportion to their respective downloads of newsletter and conference proceedings over the proceeding fiscal year. Some SGB members felt strongly that journal and magazine downloads should also be considered in the proportional distribution. A task force was chartered to make a recommendation on this issue. A post-meeting analysis was indicated that Computing Surveys is by the far the largest in downloads (nearly double the next largest). In decreasing order: Computing Surveys, JACM, TOMS, TON, TODS, TOG, Linux Journal, TOCS, TOIS, and TOPLAS.
The two top journals are Computing Surveys and JACMM. The task force found that these journals can be 'claimed' by all SIGs. Other journals may have claims by multiple SIGs making it impossible to distribute downloads fairly.
Motion - The SGB reaffirms the distribution of the SIG DL money according to the two motions passed at the March 2003 SGB meeting, in particular fund allocation proportional to downloads of newsletter and conference proceedings only, with magazines and journal downloads not considered in this fund allocation.
(R. Walker, Chesnais)
9.0 - SGB EC Recommendations on SIGs in Transition (Gabow)
9.1 - SIGAPP
Hal Gabow reported that SIGAPP is still in transition. They have provided a plan for a new direction and a volunteer to lead the group. Barrett Bryant is now the new SIGAPP Chair and appointed a new group of officers that are excited about the new direction of the SIG. SIGAPP is in good financial shape because of their flagship conference SAC.
In the past, SIGAPP lacked a clear focal point of their management, so they redefined. The SIGAPP mission is to build a bridge between the world of computing and other computing fields. However, their direction now includes furthering the interests of computing professionals engaged in the development of new computing applications and applications areas and the transfer of computing technology to new problem domains. With SIGAPP support, SAC has a history of successful symposiums from a financial and technological perspective. SIGAPP has new leadership and continues to improve and develop as a contributing and viable special interest group to ACM.
Motion - Move to accept the recommendation of the SGB EC to reinstate SIGAPP as a conference-only SIG.
(Volcheck, H. Walker)
9.2 - SIGCAPH
Hal Gabow reported that John Goldthwaite provided a report at the last SGB meeting. It indicated the progress SIGCAPH had made in making up back issues. Unfortunately the newsletters are still behind and no update has been reported to the SIGCAPH membership.
The membership is constant and SIGCAPH is providing a forum that people feel strongly about. SIGCAPH's flagship conference breaks even and draws 75 attendees, but the SIG itself is not thriving.
Motion - Move to accept the recommendation of the SGB EC that SIGCAPH remain in transition. A program update will be required from the SIG Chair and scheduled for the next SGB conference call. The SIGCAPH EC will be consulted and followed up with. The SGB EC will be prepared to issue a final recommendation on SIGCAPH via e-mail.
9.3 - SIGGROUP
Hal Gabow reported that the SGB EC appointed Wolfgang Prinz as acting SIGGROUP chair. SIGGROUP has published a newsletter. But no volunteer development has been reported. Gabow will inform SIGGROUP leadership that SIGGROUP will remain in transition and must supply a full election slate by November 30, 2003
Motion - Move to accept the recommendation of the SGB EC that the SIGGROUP leadership must submit a full slate of candidates to Hal Gabow by November 30, 2003. SIGGROUP will remain in transition unless a viable slate is communicated. The SIGGROUP Chair or acting Chair will present an update on the proposed SIGGROUP activities (conferences, bulletin, Kluwer journal, awards) to the SGB EC at the next SGB meeting.
9.4 - SIGWEB
The SGB thanked Elli Mylonas for all her efforts in successfully completing SIGWEB's newsletter obligations. Recently SIGWEB issued a CD-Rom in lieu of the final newsletter which without a doubt fulfilled their obligation and presented a new SIG team of leaders. SIGWEB sent out a letter to their membership in explaining the SIGs status. Mylonas asked the SGB to appoint Peter Nuernberg as the SIGWEB Chair. Nuernberg will then officially approve six new people to SIGWEBs Executive Committee.
SIGWEB's conference continues to be stable and successful.
Motion - Move to accept the recommendation of the SGB EC to thank Elli Mylonas for all her efforts. SIGWEB is to be taken out of transition to resume its status as a conference-only SIG.
(Gabow, H. Walker)
10.0 - History Project
Alan Berenbaum presented this report.
The prevalent focus on the future has left a gaping hole in our knowledge. While there is a growing literature on the history of computing, there is little on the history of ACM. Our experience with the ACM Portal is that older material is disappearing. There are ACM Conferences for which no printed proceeding can be located. It seems appropriate for the leading society of information technology to use that technology to record both where it has come from and where it is going.
The effort over the next two years to document ACM's history should provide:
- A coffee-table-style book
- A more scholarly book drawn from historical information
- A multimedia web site
- A Turing Award web site
- A book entitled, "Turing Award Lectures"
- A DVD-ROM containing all of this electronic material
Based on past efforts of a similar magnitude, a qualified historian could be hired as a consultant for the 2 - 3 year effort to perform the task listed above at $200K plus $40K expenses. With interviews, travel time, scanning materials and production of copies the total cost of this initiative would be roughly $471K.
A comprehensive, coordinated effort is advocated for this initiative, involving both volunteer leaders and ACM staff. Therefore, the SGB EC is looking for a task force to determine the desirability and scope of this project. If it is decided to move forward, ACM and SGB would need to allocate the initial funding. Also, a lot of effort and time would have to be taken into consideration prior to committing ACM/SGB to this project. Perhaps the SIG may find it interesting to capture their history.
11. 0 - Other Business
11.1- SIG Newsletter in electronic form
Alexander Wolf reported on the Software Engineering Notes (SEN). It is an informal publication of the ACM Special Interest Group on Software Engineering (SIGSOFT) concerned with the cost-effective, timely development and maintenance of high-quality software. Relevant topics include requirements, specification, design and implementation methods, software maintenance, reuse and re-engineering, quality assurance, measurement and evaluation, software processes, automated tools, practical experience, and related issues.
The full text of the current and some back issues of SEN are available in the ACM DL. A new direction they are taking will have a smaller print copy (abstracts of papers only) and to have fewer complaints. The electronic production has its typical growing pains (format/tools/timing/POCs). However it has significant improvement in production cost/effort and an overall success. The cost of the software (Adobe Acrobat, PCTeX, PitStop) totals about $1K. In addition, about 40 hours for processing definition and learning tools.(*) The savings for a newsletter can by cut by 60%. The time to produce a newsletter can be cut by 75% and the significant savings for ACM's production in having a 100% digital issue.
*NOTE: Now that process is defined, the typical learning curve should be 4-6 hours for other SIGs
11.2 - URL Forwarding
Emil Volcheck presented this report.
Resolution: The SGB recommends that Information Systems implement the Personal URL Redirection Service as a member benefit and requests that Information Systems report on progress towards implementation at the next SGB Meeting.
Background: Information Systems has developed a Personal URL Redirection Service that allows members to forward a URL of the form (http://acm.org/~membername) to a web page of their choice. The status of this service is "completed, but not released" according to the Information Directors Projects Page.
SIG Information Directors Support Redirection: A May 2002 survey of SIG Information Directors shows strong support for Information Systems (IS) to release and implement this service. The following 18 SIGs responded to the survey: ACT, ADA, APL, ARCH, ART, CAPH, CAS, DOC, GROUP, IR, MIS, MOD, OPS, PLAN, SAC, SAM, SIM, and UCCS.
The survey had two questions: The first question addressed the desirability of this service. For question number one:
- Do you think the Personal URL Redirection Service would be a valuable member benefit, if released? (please answer yes / no )
(17 responded "yes" and 1 responded "no")
The second question compared URL Redirection to a "Virtual Business Care" proposed by IS that displays a static page listing a member's homepage without forwarding the URL. For question number two: Which service would members of your SIG find to be more useful? URL Redirection or the Virtual Business Card? (please answer Redirection, VBC, or your members probably would not care)
(11 responded "Redirection", 4 responded "don't care", 1 responded "VBC", 1 responded "both", and 1 responded "I don't know")
SIG Information Directors overwhelming believe that URL Redirection is a valuable member benefit and a large majority (11-1-6) finds this to be more useful than the "Virtual Business Card".
Portability: like the ACM email forwarding service, the URL Redirection Service allows a member to keep the same URL for their homepage when they change jobs or ISPs (A similar redirection service is offered by pobox.com) The "Virtual Business Card" provides a certain portability at the cost of a longer URL and requiring an additional click and page load to access the member's page.
Stable URLs: the URL Redirection Service provides for forwarding of complete file paths allowing a user to specify stable URLs for documents. For instance, a paper on my homepage retained its number one search position with Google even after I changed ISPs (and homepage URLs) because Google indexed it under http://acm.org/~volcheck, rather than its actual URL.
Branding: allowing members to use acm.org URLs for their homepages raises awareness of ACM. The Virtual Business Card is less useful than redirection, so members will not be as likely to take advantage of it, meaning it will have less impact.
IS has raised one objection to the URL Redirection Service: that a member of the public might see a redirected URL and confuse it with an official ACM web page. Wayne Graves, ACM IS Director, has stated: "URL forwarding is similar to email forwarding. What ends up happening is that whatever site you go to "seems" to be an acm.org site. This can lead to problems."
This could happen with a "cloaked" or "masked" URL redirection, where the actual destination URL is not displayed. The URL Redirection Service as developed by IS replaces the acm.org URL with the actual destination URL.
Therefore, confusion with official ACM web pages is unlikely since at no time will the destination page appear in a browser with an acm.org URL.
If such confusion remains a concern, then redirection could still be implemented by having the browser display a message like "Redirecting to a member web page" before completing the redirection. This would still be more convenient than the "Virtual Business Card".
Motion - The SGB deems the Personal URL Redirection Service to be a valuable and important member benefit, and urges Information Systems (IS) to complete its implementation and rollout of this service if possible. The SGB also requests that IS report on the implementation/rollout time to the SGB EC, by its November 2003 conference call.
Meeting adjourned at 11:23 AM
Action ItemsAction - Baglio to inform appropriate staff at ACM HQ that there is now a single SIG designation. The categories of conference-only, publications-only and electronic forum no longer exist.
Action - Baglio to inform appropriate staff at ACM HQ that SIGSOUND has been dechartered but that they may continue to utilize ACM's listserve capabilities to continue a forum on SOUND.
Action - Gabow to inform SIG leaders of SIGAPL, SIGAPP, SIGART, SIGCAS, SIGMICRO, SIGSAC, SIGSIM, and SIGUCCS that there is now a single SIG designation. The categories of conference-only, publications-only and electronic forum no longer exist.
Action - Gabow to inform the SIGSOUND leaders that the SIG has been dechartered but that they may continue to utilize ACM's listserve capabilities to continue a forum on SOUND.
Action - ALL SIGCHAIRS must provide a list of annual membership benefits annually by, November 15, 2003 in order to remain viable.
Action - ALL Conference-only SIG Chairs must submit an update to their bylaws to allow for elections during the next election cycle (2005-2007)
Action - Baglio and Ryan to make recommendations on alternative election models for all SIGs.
Action - Baglio to inform appropriate staff at ACM HQ that SIGAPP is no longer in transition.
Action - Gabow to inform SIGAPP leadership that SIGAPP is no longer in transition.
Action - Gabow to inform SIGCAPH leadership that SIGCAPH remains in transition and will be discussed during the next SGB EC conference call.
Action - Gabow to inform SIGGROUP leadership that SIGGROUP remains in transition and must supply a full election slate by November 20, 2003.
Action - Baglio to inform appropriate staff at ACM HQ that SIGWEB is no longer in transition.
Action - Baglio to inform appropriate staff at ACM HQ of the allocation recommendations so that the FY 2005 variable rate starting point can be determined and draft budgets prepared.
Action - SGB EC to approve the FY 2005 variable rate starting point.
Action - Berenbaum to appoint task force to review allocation with regard to grants and expenses associated with them to determine if they should be exempt from the allocation formula.
Action - Baglio to inform appropriate staff at ACM HQ that the DL revenue distribution formula will remain as previously agreed upon by the SGB.
Action - Ryan to provide SGB with a legal recommendation on URL direction.
Action - Graves to provide SGB EC with an implementation/rollout timeline for their November 2003 conference call if appropriate based on legal recommendation.
Action - Baglio to review SIG newsletter production process and provide an outline to SGB leaders and make recommendations on changes if appropriate.
- Alain Chesnais, SIGGRAPH President and SGB EC
- Alan Berenbaum, SIG Governing Board Chair
- Alexander Wolf - SIGSOFT Chair and SGB EC
- Barb Helfer - SIGGRAPH Vice President
- Barbara Ryder - FCRC 2003 Chair
- Cheryl Willis - SIGITE Treasurer
- Daniel Menasce - SIGecom Vice Chair
- Darren Ramdin, ACM Assistant Director of Financial Services
- David Harrison, SIGAda Vice Chair
- David Wise, ACM Vice President
- Dianne Martin - SIGCAS Rep.
- Donna Baglio, ACM Director of SIGs Services
- Edith Lawson - SIGITE Chair
- Elli Mylonas, SIGWEB Past Chair
- Emil Volcheck, SIGSAM Chair
- Erica Johnson, ACM Assistant Director of SIGs Services
- Erin Dolan - ACM Program Coordinator of SIGs Services
- Ernesto Damiani, SIGAPP Vice Chair
- Ginger Ignatoff, ACM Program Director of SIGs Services
- Hal Gabow, SIGACT Chair and SGB EC
- Hans Boehm - SIGPLAN Past Chair
- Henry Walker - SIGCSE Chair and SGB EC
- Irene Frawley - ACM Program Coordinator of SIGs Services
- Janice Sipior - SIGMIS chair
- Janos Sztipanovits - SIGBED Chair
- Jamie Callan - SIGIR Chair
- Jeanna Neefe Matthews, SIGOPS Treasurer
- Jeff Grove - ACM Director of Public Policy
- Jennifer Rexford - SIGCOMM Chair
- Jens Knoops, SIGPLAN Treasurer
- John White, ACM Executive Director
- Joseph Konstan, SIGCHI Chair
- Kathleen Fisher - SIGPLAN Conference Approver
- Keith Marzullo - SIGOPS Chair
- Kemal Ebcioglu - SIGMICRO Chair
- Margaret Martonosi - SIGARCH Vice Chair
- Maria Gini - SIGART Chair
- Maritza Nichols, ACM Program Coordinator of SIGs Services
- Mark Scott Johnson - SGB Council Rep
- Michael Priestly, SIGDOC Vice Chair
- Michael Wellman, SIGecom Chair
- Mike McFadden -
- Norman Jouppi - SIGARCH Chair
- Pat Ryan, ACM Chief Operating Officer
- Peter Nuernberg, SIGWEB Chair
- Ramesh Jain - SIGMM Chair
- Robert Walker, SIGDA Chair and SGB EC
- Scott Owen, SIGGRAPH CAG Chair
- Stuart Feldman, SGB Council Rep and SIGecom Past Chair
- Tony Baylis - SIGGRAPH Treasurer
- Vicki Hanson - SIGCAPH Vice Chair