2011 Annual Report

SIGCOMM continues to be a vibrant organization serving the broad community of
people interested in all aspects of computer networking. We continue
to run a stable of successful, high-impact conferences, several of
these being in co-operation with other SIGs.  There are a number of
highlights to report from the past year.

One of the major efforts of the SIG for several years has been to
increase the involvement of members of the community from outside the
U.S. and Europe. This year was quite a milestone in that regard, as
SIGCOMM became the first SIG to hold its annual flagship conference in
India. The conference, held in New Delhi, was very successful, with
attendance numbers comparable to prior years but with much greater
representation from the Indian subcontinent. Fundraising from local
companies was very effective and enabled a large amount of travel
support to be offered to students both from the region and from around
the world. The local organizing committee went beyond the normal call
of duty to ensure smooth logistics and a good experience for all

In the same vein, the SIG has increased its funding for regional
conferences in the networking field as well as adding additional funds
to the geodiversity travel grant program. The latter program enables
young faculty from under-represented regions to attend our flagship
conference; this year we have expanded it to also allow support for
graduate students. We have also added COMSNETS, a major networking
conference in India, to the set of regional conferences we support
financially, while continuing to support the Latin American Networking
Conference (LANC) and the Asian Internet Engineering Conference
(AINTEC). We seek to foster the success of these conference by means
such as invited speaker support and student travel grants.
The SIGCOMM newsletter, Computer Communications Review, continues to
thrive as a journal with high quality and timely articles under
S. Keshav's editorial guidance.  An online submission and review
system has been established, allowing authors and reviewers to
interact with each other anonymously before a paper acceptance
decision is made. This has substantially improved authors' perception
of the review process and simultaneously improved the paper
quality. Acceptance rates for the newsletter are around 20%, on par
with top-tier conferences. CCR turnaround time is rapid compared to
most journals: for technical papers it is 8 weeks for review and 16
weeks for publication; for editorials it is 1-3 days for review and 6
weeks for publication. We continue to offer both online and print
access to the newsletter. This year we have begun to make some changes
to the online presence of CCR, and we are examining the possibility of
offering online-only SIG memberships in 2012 to those members who
don't require a print copy of the journal.

With respect to awards, SIGCOMM has recognized Vern Paxson with the
SIGCOMM award for lifetime achievement; he will receive the award and
present a keynote talk at the annual SIGCOMM conference in August 2011
in Toronto.  SIGCOMM also has recognized "They Can Hear Your
Heartbeats: Non-Invasive Security for Implanted Medical Devices"
S. Gollakota, H. Hassanieh, B. Ransford, D. Katabi and K. Fu as
the best paper in that conference. Two "Test of Time" awards will also be
given at the conference for the best papers with long-lasting impact
from 10-12 years ago. Those papers are both from SIGCOMM 2001: "Chord:
A Scalable Peer-to-peer Lookup Service for Internet Applications", by
I. Stoica, R. Morris, D. Karger, M. F. Kaashoek, and H. Balakrishnan,
and "A Scalable Content-addressable Network", by S. Ratnasamy,
P. Francis, M. Handley, R. Karp, and S. Shenker.

SIGCOMM has recognized Nick Feamster with its Rising Star award; he
received his award and delivered a keynote address at the CoNEXT
conference held in December 2010 in Philadelphia.We have also
instituted a new doctoral dissertation award, to recognize the best
Ph.D. thesis in the computer networking field in a given year. The
award runs on a similar timetable to the ACM's best thesis award.

After several years of diligent service, Ramesh Govindan has stepped
down as Awards Chair, and Bruce Maggs has been appointed in his
place. Bruce will administer the numerous awards programs that the SIG

During the year, three SIGCOMM members were recognized as ACM Fellows:
past SIGCOMM Chair Mark Crovella, Stefan Savage, and David Rosenblum.
The following SIGCOMM members were
made Distinguished Members of ACM: Martin Arlitt, Serge Fdida, Yu
Charlie Hu, Shivkumar Kalyanaraman, Ramachandran Ramjee, Joseph. D. Touch,
Alec Wolman, and Jun Xu.

At the start of FY2011, Olivier Bonaventure had just taken on the role
of Education Director for SIGCOMM. With a full year in the position,
Olivier's work is bearing fruit. We have an education website
(education.sigcomm.org) by which members of the community are able to
share education-related resources. There will be a workshop on
computer networking education at this year's annual
conference. Olivier is also running a Shadow PC for the CoNEXT
conference as a way to educate the current generation of graduate
students in the best practices of technical paper reviewing and
program committee operation.

SIGCOMM has now had a Technical Steering Committee in place for just
over a year. The TSC has responsibility for selecting PC chairs,
crafting policies related to the PC operation and technical program,
and providing a repository of knowledge about the technical aspects of
the conference. Administrative and fiscal responsibility for the
conference continues to reside with the SIGCOMM EC. The TSC has
advised the 2011 PC Chairs and just selected PC chairs for the 2012
conference. We will shortly have the first opportunity to appoint new
members to the TSC and two members' terms expire.

In addition to supporting regional conferences, the SIG has
capitalized on its strong financial position to increase general
student travel support to both SIGCOMM and CoNEXT conferences. CoNEXT
this year will take place in Tokyo, the first time it has been outside
of Europe or the U.S.

The CoNEXT conference is growing into a high-quality, general
networking conference of comparable quality to the SIGCOMM
conference. With a smaller audience than SIGCOMM, it can be a little
more interactive, and has had successful panel sessions and student
workshops.  At CoNEXT 2010 in Philadelphia,  an industry panel session
focused on ways to improve the level of interaction among industrial and
academic participants in our community, with representatives from
Cisco, Conviva, CMU, Google, Intel, Juniper, and MIT.

The issue of how networking research can have more impact on industry
continues to attract attention. We have planned a second panel for the
upcoming SIGCOMM conference and are examining the approaches taken by
other SIGs (some of which have entire "industry days" at their
conferences, for example).

We continue to be concerned about the extreme selectivity of the
flagship conference (which has an acceptance rate around 10%). As long
as submissions rates remain high and we keep the conference single
track, it is hard to directly affect the acceptance rate. We are
attempting to build CoNext up to a level that it as seen as a peer
conference to the Sigcomm conference, with a particular focus on high
quality program committees and PC Chairs, to offer another venue for
publication. We also seek to ensure that the paper selection process
at the flagship conference is as fair and open as possible, something
we hope the TSC can facilitate. Finally, we are attempting to make
journal publication a more realistic alternative to the flagship
conference. We have committed to provide financial support to the IEEE/ACM
Transactions on Networking to defray some of the page costs of longer
papers, and our representatives on the ToN steering committee are also
looking at ways to foster more community engagement (e.g. via online
forums) with journal publications.

Finally, the SIGCOMM main conference continues to thrive. In keeping
with ACM's mission of becoming a more truly global organization, we
are holding our flagship conference outside North America two years
out of three. After the successful 2010 edition in New Delhi, SIGCOMM
2011 returns to North America, with Toronto being the host city. In
2012 we will be holding the conference in Helsinki, Finland.