POPL'12 Program Chair's Report (or, how to run a medium-sized conference). Michael Hicks. SIGPLAN Notices, 47(4), April 2012.

It was a pleasure and a privilege to serve as the program committee (PC) chair of the 39th Symposium on the Principles of Programming Languages (POPL). This paper describes the review process we used, why we used it, and an assessment of how it worked out.

We made some substantial changes to the review process this year, most notably by incorporating a form of double-blind reviewing. These and other changes were made in an attempt to improve accepted paper quality, as well as to improve review quality and fairness (both of which ultimately support paper quality).

Much of this paper argues in favor of these changes based on principle, i.e., why one might think the process should increase quality. Ideally we could also evaluate the process directly, i.e., by showing that this year's program was better than it would have been under a different review process. Unfortunately, I think it would be very difficult to efficiently evaluate a review process directly (e.g., by having two committees and two review processes on the same papers). As such, I exercised a more tractable alternative: I polled the authors and reviewers to report on their experience, and to see whether that experience convinces them that the process has merit. In most cases, the answer was “yes.”

.pdf ]

  title = {{POPL}'12 Program Chair's Report (or, how to run a medium-sized conference)},
  author = {Michael Hicks},
  journal = {SIGPLAN Notices},
  volume = 47,
  number = 4,
  year = 2012,
  month = apr

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