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ICFP 2016
Sun 18 - Sat 24 September 2016 Nara, Japan

ICFP 2016 provides a forum for researchers and developers to hear about the latest work on the design, implementations, principles, and uses of functional programming. The conference covers the entire spectrum of work, from practice to theory, including its peripheries.

ICFP 2016- Proceedings of the 21st ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming

Digital Library logoFull Citation in the ACM Digital Library

SESSION: Invited Talks

TensorFlow: learning functions at scale
  • Martín Abadi
Journey to find bugs in JavaScript web applications in the wild
  • Sukyoung Ryu
A functional programmer's guide to homotopy type theory
  • Dan Licata

SESSION: Session 1

Farms, pipes, streams and reforestation: reasoning about structured parallel processes using types and hylomorphisms
  • David Castro
  • Kevin Hammond
  • Susmit Sarkar
Dag-calculus: a calculus for parallel computation
  • Umut A. Acar
  • Arthur Charguéraud
  • Mike Rainey
  • Filip Sieczkowski
A lambda-calculus foundation for universal probabilistic programming
  • Johannes Borgström
  • Ugo Dal Lago
  • Andrew D. Gordon
  • Marcin Szymczak
Deriving a probability density calculator (functional pearl)
  • Wazim Mohammed Ismail
  • Chung-chieh Shan

SESSION: Session 2

A new verified compiler backend for CakeML
  • Yong Kiam Tan
  • Magnus O. Myreen
  • Ramana Kumar
  • Anthony Fox
  • Scott Owens
  • Michael Norrish
Sequent calculus as a compiler intermediate language
  • Paul Downen
  • Luke Maurer
  • Zena M. Ariola
  • Simon Peyton Jones
Refinement through restraint: bringing down the cost of verification
  • Liam O'Connor
  • Zilin Chen
  • Christine Rizkallah
  • Sidney Amani
  • Japheth Lim
  • Toby Murray
  • Yutaka Nagashima
  • Thomas Sewell
  • Gerwin Klein

SESSION: Session 3

Fully abstract compilation via universal embedding
  • Max S. New
  • William J. Bowman
  • Amal Ahmed
Oh Lord, please don't let contracts be misunderstood (functional pearl)
  • Christos Dimoulas
  • Max S. New
  • Robert Bruce Findler
  • Matthias Felleisen
A type theory for incremental computational complexity with control flow changes
  • Ezgi Çiçek
  • Zoe Paraskevopoulou
  • Deepak Garg

SESSION: Session 4

Compact bit encoding schemes for simply-typed lambda-terms
  • Kotaro Takeda
  • Naoki Kobayashi
  • Kazuya Yaguchi
  • Ayumi Shinohara
Queueing and glueing for optimal partitioning (functional pearl)
  • Shin-Cheng Mu
  • Yu-Hsi Chiang
  • Yu-Han Lyu
All sorts of permutations (functional pearl)
  • Jan Christiansen
  • Nikita Danilenko
  • Sandra Dylus

SESSION: Session 5

A glimpse of Hopjs
  • Manuel Serrano
  • Vincent Prunet
Experience report: growing and shrinking polygons for random testing of computational geometry algorithms
  • Ilya Sergey
Think like a vertex, behave like a function! a functional DSL for vertex-centric big graph processing
  • Kento Emoto
  • Kiminori Matsuzaki
  • Zhenjiang Hu
  • Akimasa Morihata
  • Hideya Iwasaki
Datafun: a functional Datalog
  • Michael Arntzenius
  • Neelakantan R. Krishnaswami

SESSION: Session 6

Dynamic witnesses for static type errors (or, ill-typed programs usually go wrong)
  • Eric L. Seidel
  • Ranjit Jhala
  • Westley Weimer
Automatically disproving fair termination of higher-order functional programs
  • Keiichi Watanabe
  • Ryosuke Sato
  • Takeshi Tsukada
  • Naoki Kobayashi
Higher-order ghost state
  • Ralf Jung
  • Robbert Krebbers
  • Lars Birkedal
  • Derek Dreyer

SESSION: Session 7

Unifiers as equivalences: proof-relevant unification of dependently typed data
  • Jesper Cockx
  • Dominique Devriese
  • Frank Piessens
Elaborator reflection: extending Idris in Idris
  • David Christiansen
  • Edwin Brady
Partial type equivalences for verified dependent interoperability
  • Pierre-Evariste Dagand
  • Nicolas Tabareau
  • Éric Tanter

SESSION: Session 8

Constructive Galois connections: taming the Galois connection framework for mechanized metatheory
  • David Darais
  • David Van Horn
An abstract memory functor for verified C static analyzers
  • Sandrine Blazy
  • Vincent Laporte
  • David Pichardie

SESSION: Session 9

Ghostbuster: a tool for simplifying and converting GADTs
  • Trevor L. McDonell
  • Timothy A. K. Zakian
  • Matteo Cimini
  • Ryan R. Newton
Indexed codata types
  • David Thibodeau
  • Andrew Cave
  • Brigitte Pientka
Disjoint intersection types
  • Bruno C. d. S. Oliveira
  • Zhiyuan Shi
  • João Alpuim
Set-theoretic types for polymorphic variants
  • Giuseppe Castagna
  • Tommaso Petrucciani
  • Kim Nguyễn

SESSION: Session 10

Hierarchical memory management for parallel programs
  • Ram Raghunathan
  • Stefan K. Muller
  • Umut A. Acar
  • Guy Blelloch
Allocation characterizes polyvariance: a unified methodology for polyvariant control-flow analysis
  • Thomas Gilray
  • Michael D. Adams
  • Matthew Might
A fully concurrent garbage collector for functional programs on multicore processors
  • Katsuhiro Ueno
  • Atsushi Ohori

SESSION: Session 11

Talking bananas: structural recursion for session types
  • Sam Lindley
  • J. Garrett Morris
The best of both worlds: linear functional programming without compromise
  • J. Garrett Morris
Context-free session types
  • Peter Thiemann
  • Vasco T. Vasconcelos

SESSION: Session 12

Combining effects and coeffects via grading
  • Marco Gaboardi
  • Shin-ya Katsumata
  • Dominic Orchard
  • Flavien Breuvart
  • Tarmo Uustalu
String diagrams for free monads (functional pearl)
  • Maciej Piróg
  • Nicolas Wu

Mon 19 Sep

Tue 20 Sep

Wed 21 Sep

icfp-2016-papers
15:05 - 16:20: Research Papers - Session 11 at Noh Theater
Chair(s): Alejandro Russo
icfp-2016-papers147446310000015:05 - 15:30
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icfp-2016-papers
16:50 - 17:40: Research Papers - Session 12 at Noh Theater
Chair(s): Jeremy Gibbons
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Call for Papers

Scope

ICFP 2016 seeks original papers on the art and science of functional programming. Submissions are invited on all topics from principles to practice, from foundations to features, and from abstraction to application. The scope includes all languages that encourage functional programming, including both purely applicative and imperative languages, as well as languages with objects, concurrency, or parallelism. Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Language Design: concurrency, parallelism, and distribution; modules; components and composition; metaprogramming; type systems; interoperability; domain-specific languages; and relations to imperative, object-oriented, or logic programming.
  • Implementation: abstract machines; virtual machines; interpretation; compilation; compile-time and run-time optimization; garbage collection and memory management; multi-threading; exploiting parallel hardware; interfaces to foreign functions, services, components, or low-level machine resources.
  • Software-Development Techniques: algorithms and data structures; design patterns; specification; verification; validation; proof assistants; debugging; testing; tracing; profiling.
  • Foundations: formal semantics; lambda calculus; rewriting; type theory; monads; continuations; control; state; effects; program verification; dependent types.
  • Analysis and Transformation: control-flow; data-flow; abstract interpretation; partial evaluation; program calculation.
  • Applications: symbolic computing; formal-methods tools; artificial intelligence; systems programming; distributed-systems and web programming; hardware design; databases; XML processing; scientific and numerical computing; graphical user interfaces; multimedia and 3D graphics programming; scripting; system administration; security.
  • Education: teaching introductory programming; parallel programming; mathematical proof; algebra.
  • Functional Pearls: elegant, instructive, and fun essays on functional programming.
  • Experience Reports: short papers that provide evidence that functional programming really works or describe obstacles that have kept it from working.

If you are concerned about the appropriateness of some topic, do not hesitate to contact the program chair.

Abbreviated instructions for authors

  • By Wednesday, March 16 2016, 15:00 (UTC), submit a full paper of at most 12 pages (6 pages for an Experience Report), in standard SIGPLAN conference format, including figures but excluding bibliography.

The deadlines will be strictly enforced and papers exceeding the page limits will be summarily rejected.

ICFP 2016 will employ a lightweight double-blind reviewing process. To facilitate this, submitted papers must adhere to two rules:

  1. author names and institutions must be omitted, and
  2. references to authors’ own related work should be in the third person (e.g., not “We build on our previous work …” but rather “We build on the work of …”).

The purpose of this process is to help the PC and external reviewers come to an initial judgement about the paper without bias, not to make it impossible for them to discover the authors if they were to try. Nothing should be done in the name of anonymity that weakens the submission or makes the job of reviewing the paper more difficult (e.g., important background references should not be omitted or anonymized). In addition, authors should feel free to disseminate their ideas or draft versions of their paper as they normally would. For instance, authors may post drafts of their papers on the web or give talks on their research ideas. We have put together a document answering frequently asked questions (last updated February 8, 2016) that should address many common concerns.

  • Authors have the option to attach supplementary material to a submission, on the understanding that reviewers may choose not to look at it. The material should be uploaded at submission time, as a single pdf or a tarball, not via a URL. This supplementary material may or may not be anonymized; if not anonymized, it will only be revealed to reviewers after they have submitted their review of your paper and learned your identity.
  • Each submission must adhere to SIGPLAN’s republication policy, as explained on the web at http://www.sigplan.org/Resources/Policies/Republication.
  • Authors of resubmitted (but previously rejected) papers have the option to attach an annotated copy of the reviews of their previous submission(s), explaining how they have addressed these previous reviews in the present submission. If a reviewer identifies him/herself as a reviewer of this previous submission and wishes to see how his/her comments have been addressed, the program chair will communicate to this reviewer the annotated copy of his/her previous review. Otherwise, no reviewer will read the annotated copies of the previous reviews.

Overall, a submission will be evaluated according to its relevance, correctness, significance, originality, and clarity. It should explain its contributions in both general and technical terms, clearly identifying what has been accomplished, explaining why it is significant, and comparing it with previous work. The technical content should be accessible to a broad audience. Functional Pearls and Experience Reports are separate categories of papers that need not report original research results and must be marked as such at the time of submission. Detailed guidelines on both categories are given below.

Presentations will be videotaped and released online if the presenter consents. The proceedings will be freely available for download from the ACM Digital Library from at least one week before the start of the conference until two weeks after the conference.

Formatting: Submissions must be in PDF format printable in black and white on US Letter sized paper and interpretable by Ghostscript. Papers must adhere to the standard SIGPLAN conference format: two columns, nine-point font on a ten-point baseline, with columns 20pc (3.33in) wide and 54pc (9in) tall, with a column gutter of 2pc (0.33in). A suitable document template for LaTeX is available at http://www.sigplan.org/Resources/Author/.

Submission: Submissions will be accepted at https://icfp2016.hotcrp.com (in preparation as of December 1).

Improved versions of a paper may be submitted at any point before the submission deadline using the same web interface.

Author response: Authors will have a 72-hour period, starting at 15:00 UTC on Monday, 2 May, 2016, to read reviews and respond to them.

ACM Author-Izer is a unique service that enables ACM authors to generate and post links on either their home page or institutional repository for visitors to download the definitive version of their articles from the ACM Digital Library at no charge. Downloads through Author-Izer links are captured in official ACM statistics, improving the accuracy of usage and impact measurements. Consistently linking the definitive version of ACM article should reduce user confusion over article versioning. After your article has been published and assigned to your ACM Author Profile page, please visit http://www.acm.org/publications/acm-author-izer-service to learn how to create your links for free downloads from the ACM DL.

AUTHORS TAKE NOTE: The official publication date is the date the proceedings are made available in the ACM Digital Library. This date may be up to two weeks prior to the first day of your conference. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work.

Special categories of papers

In addition to research papers, ICFP solicits two kinds of papers that do not require original research contributions: Functional Pearls, which are full papers, and Experience Reports, which are limited to six pages. Authors submitting such papers may wish to consider the following advice.

Functional Pearls

A Functional Pearl is an elegant essay about something related to functional programming. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • a new and thought-provoking way of looking at an old idea
  • an instructive example of program calculation or proof
  • a nifty presentation of an old or new data structure
  • an interesting application of functional programming techniques
  • a novel use or exposition of functional programming in the classroom

While pearls often demonstrate an idea through the development of a short program, there is no requirement or expectation that they do so. Thus, they encompass the notions of theoretical and educational pearls.

Functional Pearls are valued as highly and judged as rigorously as ordinary papers, but using somewhat different criteria. In particular, a pearl is not required to report original research, but, it should be concise, instructive, and entertaining. Your pearl is likely to be rejected if your readers get bored, if the material gets too complicated, if too much specialized knowledge is needed, or if the writing is inelegant. The key to writing a good pearl is polishing.

A submission you wish to have treated as a pearl must be marked as such on the submission web page, and should contain the words “Functional Pearl” somewhere in its title or subtitle. These steps will alert reviewers to use the appropriate evaluation criteria. Pearls will be combined with ordinary papers, however, for the purpose of computing the conference’s acceptance rate.

Experience Reports

The purpose of an Experience Report is to help create a body of published, refereed, citable evidence that functional programming really works — or to describe what obstacles prevent it from working.

Possible topics for an Experience Report include, but are not limited to:

  • insights gained from real-world projects using functional programming
  • comparison of functional programming with conventional programming in the context of an industrial project or a university curriculum
  • project-management, business, or legal issues encountered when using functional programming in a real-world project
  • curricular issues encountered when using functional programming in education
  • real-world constraints that created special challenges for an implementation of a functional language or for functional programming in general

An Experience Report is distinguished from a normal ICFP paper by its title, by its length, and by the criteria used to evaluate it.

  • Both in the proceedings and in any citations, the title of each accepted Experience Report must begin with the words “Experience Report” followed by a colon. The acceptance rate for Experience Reports will be computed and reported separately from the rate for ordinary papers.
  • An Experience Report is at most six pages long. Each accepted Experience Report will be presented at the conference, but depending on the number of Experience Reports and regular papers accepted, authors of Experience reports may be asked to give shorter talks.
  • Because the purpose of Experience Reports is to enable our community to accumulate a body of evidence about the efficacy of functional programming, an acceptable Experience Report need not add to the body of knowledge of the functional-programming community by presenting novel results or conclusions. It is sufficient if the Report states a clear thesis and provides supporting evidence. The thesis must be relevant to ICFP, but it need not be novel.

The program committee will accept or reject Experience Reports based on whether they judge the evidence to be convincing. Anecdotal evidence will be acceptable provided it is well argued and the author explains what efforts were made to gather as much evidence as possible. Typically, more convincing evidence is obtained from papers which show how functional programming was used than from papers which only say that functional programming was used. The most convincing evidence often includes comparisons of situations before and after the introduction or discontinuation of functional programming. Evidence drawn from a single person’s experience may be sufficient, but more weight will be given to evidence drawn from the experience of groups of people.

An Experience Report should be short and to the point: make a claim about how well functional programming worked on your project and why, and produce evidence to substantiate your claim. If functional programming worked for you in the same ways it has worked for others, you need only to summarize the results—the main part of your paper should discuss how well it worked and in what context. Most readers will not want to know all the details of your project and its implementation, but please characterize your project and its context well enough so that readers can judge to what degree your experience is relevant to their own projects. Be especially careful to highlight any unusual aspects of your project. Also keep in mind that specifics about your project are more valuable than generalities about functional programming; for example, it is more valuable to say that your team delivered its software a month ahead of schedule than it is to say that functional programming made your team more productive.

If your paper not only describes experience but also presents new technical results, or if your experience refutes cherished beliefs of the functional-programming community, you may be better off submitting it as a full paper, which will be judged by the usual criteria of novelty, originality, and relevance. If you are unsure in which category to submit, the program chair will be happy to help you decide.

Accepted Papers

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This document is adapted (with permission and changes) from Mike Hicks and David Walker's double-blind reviewing FAQ for POPL 2012 and 2015 (see the POPL'12 Program Chair's Report for how the process worked out). Eijiro Sumii is responsible for all the contents of this version.

Last updated: February 8, 2016

General

For authors

For reviewers

General

Q: Why are you using double-blind reviewing?

A: Our goal is to give each a reviewer an unbiased "first look" at each paper. Studies have shown that a reviewer's attitude toward a submission may be affected, even unconsciously, by the identity of the author (see link below to more details). We want reviewers to be able to approach each submission without such involuntary reactions as "Barnaby; he writes a good paper" or "Who are these people? I have never heard of them." For this reason, we ask that authors to omit their names from their submissions, and that they avoid revealing their identity through citation. Note that many systems and security conferences use double-blind reviewing and have done so for years (e.g., SIGCOMM, OSDI, IEEE Security and Privacy, SIGMOD). POPL and PLDI have done it for the last several years.

A key principle to keep in mind is that we intend this process to be cooperative, not adversarial. If a reviewer does discover an author's identity though a subtle clue or oversight the author will not be penalized.

For those wanting more information, see the list of studies about gender bias in other fields and links to CS-related articles that cover this and other forms of bias below.

Q: Do you really think blinding actually works? I suspect reviewers can often guess who the authors are anyway.

A: Studies of blinding with the flavor we are using show that author identities remain unknown 53% to 79% of the time (see Snodgrass, linked below, for details). Moreover, about 5-10% of the time (again, see Snodgrass), a reviewer is certain of the authors, but then turns out to be at least partially mistaken. So, while sometimes authorship can be guessed correctly, the question is, is imperfect blinding better than no blinding at all? If author names are not explicitly in front of the reviewer on the front page, does that help at all even for the remaining submissions where it would be possible to guess? Our conjecture is that on balance the answer is "yes".

Q: Couldn't blind submission create an injustice where a paper is inappropriately rejected based upon supposedly-prior work which was actually by the same authors and not previously published?

A: I have heard of this happening, and this is indeed a serious issue. In the approach we are taking for ICFP'16, author names are revealed to reviewers after they have submitted their review. Therefore, a reviewer can correct their review if they indeed have penalized the authors inappropriately. Unblinding prior to the PC meeting also avoids abuses in which committee members end up advancing the cause of a paper with which they have a conflict.

Q: What happens if the Program Chair has a conflict with the authors of a submitted paper?

A: The reviewing process for papers with which the Program Chair has a conflict will be managed by another PC member.

For authors

Q: What exactly do I have to do to anonymize my paper?

A: Your job is not to make your identity undiscoverable but simply to make it possible for our reviewers to evaluate your submission without having to know who you are. The specific guidelines stated in the call for papers are simple: omit authors' names from your title page (or list them as "omitted for submission"), and when you cite your own work, refer to it in the third person. For example, if your name is Smith and you have worked on amphibious type systems, instead of saying "We extend our earlier work on statically typed toads (Smith 2004)," you might say "We extend Smith's (2004) earlier work on statically typed toads." Also, be sure not to include any acknowledgements that would give away your identity. If you have any questions, feel free to ask the PC chair.

Q: I would like to provide supplementary material for consideration, e.g., the code of my implementation or proofs of theorems. How do I do this?

A: On the submission site there will be an option to submit supplementary material along with your main paper. This supplementary material may or may not be anonymized; if not anonymized, it will only be revealed to reviewers after they have submitted their review of your paper and learned your identity. Reviewers are under no obligation to look at this material. The submission itself is the object of review and so it should strive to convince the reader of at least the plausibility of reported results; supplemental material only serves to confirm, in more detail, the idea argued in the paper. Of course, reviewers are free to change their review upon viewing supplemental material (or for any other reason). For those authors who wish to supplement, we encourage them to mention the supplement in the body of the paper so reviewers know to look for it, if necessary. E.g., "The proof of Lemma 1 is included in the anonymous supplemental material submitted with this paper."

Q: Is there a way for me to submit anonymous supplemental material which could be considered by a reviewer before she submits her review (rather than potentially non-anonymous material that can only be viewed afterward)?

A: Yes, submit it via HotCRP. Authors have been known to release a TR, code, etc. via an anonymous hosting service, and to include a URL to that material in the paper. However, we discourage authors from using such tactics except for materials that cannot, for some reason, be uploaded to the official site (e.g., a live demo). We emphasize that authors should strive to make their paper as convincing as possible within the submission page limit, in case reviewers choose not to access supplemental material. Also, see the next question.

Q: Can I supplement my submission using a URL that links to auxiliary materials instead of submitting such materials to the HotCRP system directly?

A In general, we discourage authors from providing supplementary materials via links to external web sites. It is possible to change the linked items after the submission deadline has passed, and, to be fair to all authors, we would like to be sure reviewers evaluate materials that have been completed prior to the submission deadline. Having said that, it is appropriate to link to items, such as an online demo, that can't easily be submitted. Needless to say, attempting to discover the reviewers for your paper by tracking visitors to such a demo site would be a breach of academic integrity. Supplementary items such as PDFs should always be uploaded to HotCRP.

Q: I am building on my own past work on the WizWoz system. Do I need to rename this system in my paper for purposes of anonymity, so as to remove the implied connection between my authorship of past work on this system and my present submission?

A: No. The relationship between systems and authors changes over time, so there will be at least some doubt about authorship. Increasing this doubt by changing the system name would help with anonymity, but it would compromise the research process. In particular, changing the name requires explaining a lot about the system again because you can't just refer to the existing papers, which use the proper name. Not citing these papers runs the risk of the reviewers who know about the existing system thinking you are replicating earlier work. It is also confusing for the reviewers to read about the paper under Name X and then have the name be changed to Name Y. Will all the reviewers go and re-read the final version with the correct name? If not, they have the wrong name in their heads, which could be harmful in the long run.

Q: I am submitting a paper that extends my own work that previously appeared at a workshop. Should I anonymize any reference to that prior work?

A: No. But we recommend you do not use the same title for your ICFP submission, so that it is clearly distinguished from the prior paper. In general there is rarely a good reason to anonymize a citation. One possibility is for work that is tightly related to the present submission and is also under review. But such works may often be non-anonymous. When in doubt, contact the PC Chair.

Q: Am I allowed to post my (non-blinded) paper on my web page? Can I advertise the unblinded version of my paper on mailing lists or send it to colleagues? May I give a talk about my work while it is under review?

A (last updated February 8, 2016): As far as the authors' publicity actions are concerned, a paper under double-blind review is largely the same as a paper under regular (single-blind) review. Double-blind reviewing should not hinder the usual communication of results.

That said, we do ask that you not attempt to deliberately subvert the double-blind reviewing process by announcing the names of the authors of your paper to the potential reviewers of your paper. It is difficult to define exactly what counts as "subversion" here, but generally speaking please refrain from sending individual e-mail to members of the PC or ERC about your work (unless they are conflicted out anyway), posting mail to a major mailing list (e.g. TYPES) announcing your paper, or posting about it on social media. On the other hand, it is perfectly fine, for example, to visit other institutions and give talks about your work, to present your submitted work during job interviews, to present your work at professional meetings (e.g. Dagstuhl), or to post your work on your web page. In general, PC/ERC members will not be asked to recuse themselves if they discover the (likely) identity of an author through such means. If you're not sure about what constitutes "subversion", please consult directly with the Program Chair.

Q: Will the fact that ICFP is double-blind have an impact on handling conflicts-of interest? When I am asked by the submission system to identify conflicts of interest, what criteria should I use?

A: Using DBR does not change the principle that reviewers should not review papers with which they have a conflict of interest, even if they do not immediately know who the authors are. Quoting (with slight alteration) from the ACM SIGPLAN review policies document:

A conflict of interest is defined as a situation in which the reviewer can be viewed as being able to benefit personally in the process of reviewing a paper. For example, if a reviewer is considering a paper written by a member of his own group, a current student, his advisor, or a group that he is seen as being in close competition with, then the outcome of the review process can have direct benefit to the reviewer's own status. If a conflict of interest exists, the potential reviewer should decline to review the paper.

As an author, you should list PC and ERC members (and any others, since others may be asked for outside reviewers) which you believe have a conflict with you. While particular criteria for making this determination may vary, please apply the following guidelines, identifying a potential reviewer Bob as conflicted if

  • Bob was your co-author or collaborator at some point within the last 2 years
  • Bob is an advisor or advisee of yours
  • Bob is a family member
  • Bob has a non-trivial financial stake in your work (e.g., invested in your startup company)

Also please identify institutions with which you are affiliated; all employees or affiliates of these institutions will also be considered conflicted.

If a possible reviewer does not meet the above criteria, please do not identify him/her as conflicted. Doing so could be viewed as an attempt to prevent a qualified, but possibly skeptical reviewer from reviewing your paper. If you nevertheless believe that a reviewer who does not meet the above criteria is conflicted, you may identify the person and send a note to the PC Chair.

For reviewers

Q: What should I do if I if I learn the authors' identity? What should I do if a prospective ICFP author contacts me and asks to visit my institution?

A: If at any point you feel that the authors' actions are largely aimed at ensuring that potential reviewers know their identity, you should contact the Program Chair. Otherwise you should not treat double-blind reviewing differently from regular blind reviewing. In particular, you should refrain from seeking out information on the authors' identity, but if you discover it accidentally this will not automatically disqualify you as a reviewer. Use your best judgment.

Q: The authors have provided a URL to supplemental material. I would like to see the material but I worry they will snoop my IP address and learn my identity. What should I do?

A: Contact the Program Chair, who will download the material on your behalf and make it available to you.

Q: If I am assigned a paper for which I feel I am not an expert, how do I seek an outside review?

A: PC and ERC members should do their own reviews, not delegate them to someone else. If doing so is problematic for some papers, e.g., you don't feel completely qualified, then consider the following options. First, submit a review for your paper that is as careful as possible, outlining areas where you think your knowledge is lacking. Assuming we have sufficient expert reviews, that could be the end of it: non-expert reviews are valuable too, since conference attendees are by-and-large not experts for any given paper. Second, if you feel like the gaps in your knowledge are substantial, submit a first cut review, and then work with the PC chair to solicit an external review. This is easy: after submitting your review the paper is unblinded, so you at least know not to solicit the authors! You will also know other reviewers of the paper that have already been solicited. If none of these expert reviewers is acceptable to you, just check with the PC Chair that the person you do wish to solicit is not conflicted with the authors. In addition, the PC chair will attempt to balance the load on external reviewers. Keep in mind that while we would like the PC to make as informed a decision as possible about each submitted paper, each additional review we solicit places a burden on the community.

As a last resort, if you feel like your review would be extremely uninformed and you'd rather not even submit a first cut, contact the PC Chair, and another reviewer will be assigned.

Q: May I ask one of my students to do a review for me?

A: Having students (or interns at a research lab) participate in the review process is good for their education. However, you should not just "offload" your reviews to your students. Each review assigned to you is your responsibility. We recommend the following process: If you are sure that your student's conflicts of interest are a subset of your own, you and your student may both begin to do your own separate reviews in parallel. (A student's review should never simply be a substitute for your own work.) If your student's conflicts of interest are not a subset of your own, you may do your own first-cut review first and then unblind the authors so you can check, or you may consult with the PC chair. Either way, once the student has completed their review, you should check the review to ensure the tone is professional and the content is appropriate. Then you may merge the student's review with your own.

Q: How do we handle potential conflicts of interest since I cannot see the author names?

A: The conference review system will ask that you identify conflicts of interest when you get an account on the submission system. Please see the related question applied to authors to decide how to identify conflicts. Feel free to also identify additional authors whose papers you feel you could not review fairly for reasons other than those given (e.g., strong personal friendship).

Q: Are PC members allowed to submit papers? If so, how are they handled?

A: PC submissions are allowed (except for the PC chair) with the usual condition of a higher standard (clearly as good as or better than other accepted papers, that is, strong support and no significant doubt). At the physical PC meeting, they will be discussed (possibly with external reviews) after all the other papers, only by PC members who have not submitted a paper.

Q: Are ERC members allowed to submit papers? If so, how are they handled?

A: ERC members are allowed to submit papers. Their papers will be reviewed like any other paper. There is no "higher standard" for ERC papers.

Q: How should I handle a paper I feel is very good, and yet would be a better fit for POPL (or PLDI or OOPSLA)?

A: The scope of ICFP is broad and encompasses all topics that pertain to functional programming. Hence, if you feel a paper would be an excellent POPL (or PLDI or OOPSLA) paper then it might also be an excellent ICFP paper. To be accepted at ICFP, a paper must discuss functional programming in some way, shape or form and it must have the potential to make a lasting impact on our field.

Q: How should I handle a paper that is out of scope for ICFP?

A: The scope of ICFP is broad and encompasses all topics that pertain to functional programming. However, if you discover you have been assigned a paper that does not contribute to the study of functional programming, please contact the program chair. We will discuss it and may decide to reject the paper on grounds of scope. Of course, if we decide after all that the paper is within the scope of ICFP, you should review it like any other paper.

More information about bias in merit reviewing

Note that this information was put together by the program chair(s); not all program or external review committee members are necessarily persuaded by it.

Kathryn McKinley's editorial makes the case for double-blind reviewing from a computer science perspective. Her article cites Richard Snodgrass's SIGMOD record editorial which collects many studies of the effects of potential bias in peer review.

Here are a few studies on the potential effects of bias manifesting in a merit review process, focusing on bias against women. (These were collected by David Wagner.)

  • There's the famous story of gender bias in orchestra try-outs, where moving to blind auditions seems to have increased the hiring of female musicians by up to 33% or so. Today some orchestras even go so far as to ask musicians to remove their shoes (or roll out thick carpets) before auditioning, to try to prevent gender-revealing cues from the sound of the auditioner's shoes.
  • One study found bias in assessment of identical CVs but with names and genders changed. In particular, the researchers mailed out c.v.'s for a faculty position, but randomly swapped the gender of the name on some of them. They found that both men and women reviewers ranked supposedly-male job applicants higher than supposedly-female applicants -- even though the contents of the c.v. were identical. Presumably, none of the reviewers thought of themselves as biased, yet their evaluations in fact exhibited gender bias. (However: in contrast to the gender bias at hiring time, if the reviewers were instead asked to evaluate whether a candidate should be granted tenure, the big gender differences disappeared. For whatever that's worth.)
  • The Implicit Association Test illustrates how factors can bias our decision-making, without us realising it. For instance, a large fraction of the population has a tendency to associate men with career (professional life) and women with family (home life), without realizing it. The claim is that we have certain gender stereotypes and schemas which unconsciously influence the way we think. The interesting thing about the IAT is that you can take it yourself. If you want to give it a try, select the Gender-Career IAT or the Gender-Science IAT from here. There's evidence that these unconscious biases affect our behavior. For instance, one study of recommendation letters written for 300 applicants (looking only at the ones who were eventually hired) found that, when writing about men, letter-writers were more likely to highlight the applicant's research and technical skills, while when writing about women, letter-writers were more likely to mention the applicant's teaching and interpersonal skills.
  • There's a study of postdoctoral funding applications in Sweden, which found that women needed to be about 2.5 times as productive (in terms of papers published) as men, to be ranked equivalently. Other studies have suggested that the Swedish experience may be an anomaly. (For instance, one meta-analysis I saw estimated that, on average, it appears men win about 7% more grant applications than women, but since this is not controlled according to the objective quality of the application, it does not necessarily imply the presence of gender bias in reviewing of grant applications.)
  • This study reports experience from an ecology journal that switched from non-blind to blind reviewing. After the switch, they found a significant (~8%) increase in the acceptance rate for female-first-authored submissions. To put it another way, they saw a 33% increase in the fraction of published papers whose first author is female (28% -> 37%). Keep in mind that this is not a controlled experiment, so it proves correlation but not causation, and there appears to be controversy in the literature about the work. So it as at most a plausibility result that gender bias could be present in the sciences, but far from definitive.

Snodgrass' studies includes some of these, and more.

Important Dates
Mon 19 - Wed 21 Sep 2016
Conference
Fri 20 May 2016
Notification
Mon 2 - Thu 5 May 2016
Author response period
Wed 16 Mar 2016 15:00
Paper submission deadline (UTC)