Rethinking SIGCOMM’s Conferences: Making Form Follow Function

Scott Shenker

Abstract

In this short essay, I ask whether our current practice of highly selective conferences is helping us achieve SIGCOMM’s research goals.1┬áThis requires first articulating what those goals are, and then evaluating our practices in relation to those goals. To no one’s surprise, this essay contends that there is a significant mismatch between what I believe SIGCOMM’s goals should be and what our current practices achieve. I then propose a radical restructuring of our conferences that would provide better alignment and, as an additional benefit, a stronger sense of community. However, I wrote this essay not to promote the specifics of a particular proposal, but to encourage our community to (i) engage in a thorough reexamination of how we organize SIGCOMM-sponsored conferences and (ii) seriously entertain the possibility of radical changes in our practices.

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