The 1st Symposium on Simplicity in Algorithms (guest post)

[Guest post from Seth Pettie and the SOSA steering committee. –Boaz]

Attendees of the SODA’17 business meeting may recall our proposal for an algorithms conference dedicated to simplicity and elegance. We appreciate all the encouragement that we received from the community.

Thanks to the support from SIAM, the First Symposium on Simplicity in Algorithms (SOSA) will happen, and will be co-located with SODA’18, with a submission deadline of mid-to-late August (TBA). Raimund Seidel is the first PC Chair and is now assembling an impressive PC.

We’d like to encourage algorithms researchers to think about potential submissions.

SOSA is dedicated to advancing algorithms research by promoting simplicity and elegance in the design and analysis of algorithms.  The benefits of simplicity are manifold. Simpler algorithms improve our understanding of hard problems; they are more likely to be implemented and trusted by practitioners; they are more easily taught and are more likely to be included in algorithms textbooks; they attract a broader set of researchers to tackle difficult algorithmic problems.

Simplicity is prized in our community. We love to learn and teach algorithms that are “from The Book.”

However, simplicity frequently goes unrewarded. Often there is no appropriate venue to publish an alternative solution to a problem, especially if the new solution has a slightly worse running time. It’s almost a cliche to hear: “What a pretty result.” “Yep. We won’t be able to publish it.”

There are many reasons that a result could qualify as simple. For example, a submission might

• introduce a new simpler algorithm,

• present a simpler analysis of an existing algorithm, or

• offer insights that generally simplify our understanding of important algorithmic problems.

We hope that you’ll share your simple and elegant results by submitting them to the 1st SOSA.  Short and sweet papers are especially encouraged.

Your algorithms may already appear in “The Book,” but we’d also like to see them in SOSA.

The SOSA Steeting committee,

M. Bender, D. Karger, T. Kopelowitz, S. Pettie, R. Tarjan, and M. Thorup

2 thoughts on “The 1st Symposium on Simplicity in Algorithms (guest post)

  1. This sounds great! I hope it’ll produce papers that are much more readable in whole than your average theory paper.

    One question — this is a full conference, with published proceedings, correct? I.e., is dual submission only allowed with “The Book”? 🙂

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