Friday, July 01, 2011

SODA 2012 submission question

This is what the SODA 2012 submission guidelines say (emphasis mine):
The submission, excluding title page and bibliography, must not exceed 10 pages (authors should feel free to send submissions that are significantly shorter than 10 pages.) If 10 pages are insufficient to include a full proof of the results, then a complete full version of the paper (reiterating the material in the 10-page abstract) must be appended to the submission after the bibliography. The length of the appended paper is not limited, and it will be read at the discretion of the committee. A detailed proof in the appended complete version is not a substitute for establishing the main ideas of the validity of the result within the 10-page abstract.
If I'm reading this right, you can't just shunt certain proofs and exposition to an appendix, as was previously done. You have to make an entire full version of the paper and append it to the shortened version. Is that correct ?

Update (7/5): I have an update from Yuval Rabani, the PC chair, which resolves the question (in the affirmative):
This is an experiment I introduced in response to conflicting attitudes in the PC. The idea is that some PC members would like to read the entire paper, and it's hard to follow the paper when you have to jump back and forth between the 10 page abstract and the appendix. So the idea is that most committee members will just print the 10 page abstract, and those
interested in the entire paper will print the attached full version. Since this is an experiment, I don't intend to enforce the guidelines very strictly, but if it's not too much of an effort on your part, we do prefer a submission according to the rules.


  1. It might be simpler to ask to submit two files, one extended abstract, and one full version, no?

  2. I don't see what's strange about this. IMHO one shouldn't be submitting an extended abstract for a paper that hasn't been written. The process that seems most natural to me is:

    1) Write the paper.
    2) If the paper is over 10 pages, trim the paper down to create the extended abstract.
    3) Submit the extended abstract with the full paper appended.

    Is there some better way that I've never thought of?

  3. Suresh, thanks for the post. I would not have noticed this otherwise.

    BTW: the requirement that *all proofs* must be included in the submission goes back at least to SODA'11. But the idea of appending the *whole paper* (as opposed to just the proofs) seems new.

  4. @Piotr, this is correct. it's the "whole paper" aspect that I'm wondering about. My preliminary conversations appear to suggest that my interpretation is indeed what we are expected to do, but I'm hoping to have an update soon.

  5. Now how do you merge two pdfs? I think you are expecting too much from theorists ;-)

  6. Well it's pretty easy to merge pdfs using the pdfmerge latex package. But why even merge ? just cut and paste the text into an appendix.

  7. @Suresh: cut and paste does not work if you want to preserve the lemma numbers (you might want to have identical numbers in the extended abstract and in the full version).

    Perhaps the easiest way to merge two pdf files is to use Acrobat Pro (File->Create ->Combine files).

  8. @Piotr, then pdfmerge is really easy. take two pdfs 1.pdf and 2.pdf, and create a new merge.tex file that contains


    and run latex on this.

    I use this for proposal submissions, for example.

  9. Thanks for the heads up Suresh.

    Jokes about theorists' pdf skills apart, pdftk (pdf toolkit) can do a lot of manipulations with pdf files, including merging two or more of them into one pdf file.

  10. Here's how I merge several pdfs in1.pdf, in2.pdf, etc. into an output pdf called out.pdf at my shell (gs is ghostscript):

    gs -q -sPAPERSIZE=letter -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=out.pdf in1.pdf in2.pdf in3.pdf ...

  11. @Suresh: to get the "pdfmerge" approach to work, I needed to do the following:


    I couldn't find a 'pdfmerge' package, but pdfpages was already installed in my system (cygwin).


  12. Jelani, you are a genius.

  13. What about numbering?
    Imagine the 10-page version has Thm 1, lemma 1, lemma 2, thm 2, lemma 3, and the full version appended to it proved lemma 1 using an auxiliary lemma. Then the numbering shifts:
    Thm 1, lemma 1, lemma 2 (lemma 1 is 10-page version), thm 2, lemma 3(lemma 2 in 10-page version),...
    What a headache!

  14. Claire, good question. I just kept all lemmas and only removed the proofs.

    Does Latex have an option of compiling some parts of the source without including the result in the output ? That would solve the problem...

  15. Piotr: you can try the version package, part of the standard distribution, as follow:



    Another package, {versions}, on CTAN, permits the additional instruction \markversion{JEREMY}, which I use for comments, with the insurance that I can make them disapear anytime.

  16. To merge pdfs in Preview on a Mac, open the drawer, select the pages you want and drag them to where you want them in the other. Then Save As a new file.


Disqus for The Geomblog