ACM Multimedia 2011

Authors: K. Selçuk Candan, Sethuraman Panchanthan, Balakrishnan Prabhakaran, Hari Sundaram, Wu-Chi Feng, Nicu Sebe, Borko Furht, Jin Li, Maria Luisa Sapino

Venue: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA


General Chairs

K. Selçuk Candan, Arizona State University, AZ, USA
Sethuraman Panchanthan, Arizona State University, AZ, USA
Balakrishnan Prabhakaran, University of Texas at Dallas, TX, USA

Technical Program Chair

Hari Sundaram, Arizona State University, AZ, USA
Wu-Chi Feng, Portland State University, OR, USA
Nicu Sebe, University of Trento, IT

Workshop Chairs

Borko Furht, Florida Atlantic University, FL, USA
Jin Li, Microsoft Research
Maria Luisa Sapino, University of Torino, IT

Introduction to ACM Multimedia 2011

We are delighted to report on behalf of the entire organizing committee that the 19th ACM International Conference on Multimedia ACM Multimedia 2011 (MM’11) was held between November 28th and December 1st, 2011, in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, to great success.

ACM Multimedia (MM) is the flagship conference of the Special Interest Group on Multimedia (SIGMM), which profiles cutting-edge scientific developments and showcases innovative industrial multimedia technologies and applications. The conference aims to promote intellectual exchanges and interactions among scientists, engineers, students, multimedia users, and artists through various events, including keynote talks from leaders in the area, oral and poster sessions focused on research challenges and solutions, workshops in up-and-coming key areas of research, technical and industrial demonstrations of prototypes and commercial products, tutorials, research and industrial panels, doctoral symposium, mentoring events, scientific competitions (including an open source software and a multimedia grand challenge competition), and interactive art exhibits.

Our key motivation while organizing the MM’11 conference was to find innovative ways to design an “inclusive” conference program: lowering the barriers between various MM sub-communities, boosting the cross-fertilization of ideas among the contributors and attendees across the various MM events, and maximizing the return-on-investment for the MM’11 participants. Examples of this new approach include the following:

  • New plenary poster sessions, where all contributors (i.e., authors of long and short research papers, of workshop papers, and contributors to all other MM’11 events) are invited to share poster versions of their contributions with the rest of the MM’11 community. These plenary poster sessions allow conference participants to get a quick idea of interesting things happening in the multiple parallel sessions they cannot clone themselves to attend!
  • Workshops were aligned with the other MM’11 events, instead of being held on a separate “workshops day” where many workshop participants never got to know the main conference and vice-versa. Our aim was to integrate workshops (which were chosen, in the first place, to represent emerging topics that complement the areas covered by the main technical program) organically with the other conference events and encourage broader participation by registrants in all conference and workshop programs.
  • These innovations aimed to eliminate barriers in the program had to be supported by corresponding innovations in the MM’11 registration policies. Thus, we have instituted an “all-in-one” registration fee structure, which covers attendance to all MM’11 events, including presentation and poster sessions, panels, demonstrations, tutorials, and workshops.
  • By keeping the overall registration fee lower than recent years and by shaving one day off from the conference program, we also reduced the overall participation cost for most of the MM’11 attendees.

A travel grants program, generously supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and SIGMM, also helped us lower the barrier for participation for many students and a full 30% of the registrants to MM’11 were students. A number of mentorship activities was organized at MM’11, including women mentoring event, organized and sponsored by SIGMM, a Doctoral Symposium program, which (in addition to having regular panels and presentations as before) opened up its doors to all student authors who wanted to present posters at the event, a panel on “Job Opportunities and Career Perspective for Fresh Graduates of the Multimedia Community”, and a new “vis-a-vis meeting with researchers” social event where graduate students could meet and exchange ideas and receive guidance with internationally recognized researchers in their research area.

Of course, apart from the above, MM’11 also continued with programs that proved to be extremely successful in the past. We have continued with the well-established and highly successful Open Source Software Competition, with special emphasis this year on instructional open source software designed for educational use in teaching multimedia-related courses at undergraduate or graduate level. Like the previous years, the Multimedia Grand Challenges competition attracted challenges from many leaders of the multimedia industry, including HP, Technicolor, Nokia, Yahoo, Huwei, and 3D Life, and proposals from all over the world. A report form the Grand Challenges can be found in a separate article. Similarly, this year’s industrial exhibits program, which complemented the MM technical demonstrations program, focussed on cutting-edge research prototypes, including system and product demonstrations from many industrial leaders, such as IBM, FX Palo Alto Labs, Microsoft Research, Exalead, and Yacast. The panels program emphasized opportunities and challenges faced by researchers, industry, and open-source communities in multimedia and thus covers timely topics, such as “Smart Games”, “Towards Synergy Between the Open Source and the Research Multimedia Communities”, and “Innovating the Multimedia Experience”.

We are enthused to report that MM’11 included three exciting keynote talks by three industry and academic leaders in multimedia research: Alex Pentland, Head of the MIT Human Dynamics Lab, Genevieve Bell, Director of the Interaction and Experience Research at the Intel Labs, and Arnaud Robert, Senior Vice President of Technology at The Walt Disney Studios. We are proud that MM’11 hosts the prestigious SIGMM Technical Achievement Award presentation to Prof Shih-Fu Chang (Columbia University) and his award acceptance speech.

The Award for the Best Paper of MM’11 was presented by the technical program chairs to F. Yu, R. Ji and S. Chang for their paper “Active Query Sensing for Mobile Location Search”. After a tough competition, the best student paper award of 2011 was shared by two papers. It was granted to W. Wu, A. Arefin, G. Kurillo, B. Agarwal, K. Nahrstedt and R. Bajcsy for their paper “Color-plus-Depth Level-of-Details in 3D Teleimmersive Video – A Psychophysical Approach” and to to R. Garg, A. Varma, M. Wu for their paper “Seeing ENF: Natural Time Stamp for Digital Video via Optical Sensing and Signal Processing”. Also the best technical demo was chosen after long deliberation, and the award was presented to David S Monaghan, James O’Sullivan, and Noel O’Connor for their demo “Low-cost Creation of a 3D Interactive Museum Exhibition”.

We would like to acknowledge all who have contributed to the success of MM’11. First of all, we would like to thank all authors who submitted papers to the technical program, various workshops, and other events of MM’11. We also thank the authors of the accepted papers who will present their work in MM’11 and the panelists and keynote speakers who have accepted to participate in the conference to discuss current and future challenges in the field of multimedia and to propose innovative solutions. We are grateful to the members of the various program committees and external reviewers who have helped put together a high-quality program and would like acknowledge members of the various MM’11 organizing committees and many student volunteers for their invaluable help at every step of the process. We would like to thank the staff of ACM and Sheridan for their continuous support and the Conference Management Toolkit Team (CMT) at Microsoft for letting us use CMT for handling the submission and review workflows of MM’11. Finally, we would like to thank our sponsors (as of this writing), Google, IBM, Microsoft, FxPal, Technicolor, Qualcomm, Springer, Yahoo!, Arizona State University, and the University of Texas at Dallas, who have extended their generous support to MM’11. We would also like to thank the National Science Foundation (NSF) and SIGMM for their generous support for the MM’11 student travel award program.

The Conference Program

We had an exciting technical program at ACM Multimedia 2011. The process to select the technical program included several innovations. These innovations – guided by the recent report by a select SIG Multimedia committee – included the following: MM’11 moved to technical areas instead of tracks, each submitted paper had a primary area and an optional secondary area set by the authors at the time of submission, and an author rebuttal phase.

Figure 1: Cross-linkages between primary and secondary areas

The ten areas were as follows:

  • Multi-modal Integration and Understanding in the Imperfect World
  • Media Analysis and Search
  • Scalability in Media Processing, Analysis, and Applications
  • Multimedia Systems and Middleware
  • Media Transport and Sharing
  • Multimedia Security
  • Media Authoring and Production
  • Location-based and Mobile Multimedia
  • Human, Social, and Educational Aspects of Multimedia
  • Arts and Contemporary Digital Culture

The areas – chosen in consultation with the broad SIG Multimedia community – reflect core research areas (e.g. multimedia systems and middleware), as well as different multimedia research contexts (e.g. location-based mobile multimedia). Typically, each area had two area chairs managing the review process; media analysis and search was an exception: due to the large number of submissions (39%), we assigned six area chairs to manage this area. Figure 1 shows the relationship between areas in the papers submitted for review – there is an edge between two areas when a paper has both areas specified in the paper. In the figure, edges with higher strength are more opaque.

Many authors specified both primary and secondary areas, resulting in the assignment of two reviewers from the primary area and one reviewer from the secondary area. In the minority of cases when there was no secondary area, we assigned all three reviewers from the primary area. The selection of reviewers from two different areas, allowed for a cross-disciplinary evaluation of the submitted paper. In past conferences a paper submitted to one of the four tracks was exclusively evaluated by reviewers from that track. Additionally, to increase the responsibility of the chairs as well as to give more credit to their work on their accepted paper, we have indicated the name of the AC that was supervising the reviewing process and which recommended the paper for acceptance.

The conference was highly competitive with low acceptance rates. We received a total of 666 submissions which included 335 long papers and 331 short papers. Subsequent to the initial notification, authors had one week to rebut the criticisms of the papers. After the rebuttal phase, the area chairs led a discussion with the reviewers on the merits of each paper, which included the author rebuttals. In the end, we accepted 58 long papers, with an acceptance rate of 17.3%, and 120 short papers with an acceptance rate of 36.3%. We additionally recommended 52 long papers to appear as short papers. Figure 2 shows the distribution of primary areas for all papers. We selected three papers were selected for the best paper and best student paper session. We solicited nominations from each area, for best student paper and best paper competition. The technical program chairs selected three from the nominations.

Figure 2: Distribution of papers’ primary areas

We would like to thank all of our area chairs and reviewers who volunteered a significant amount of their time to ensure a high quality program.

The Workshops

This year, ACM Multimedia experimented with a new workshop format that co-located the workshops with ACM Multimedia and ran in parallel with the conference sessions. The new format influenced the selection process: among the 28 very strong proposals we received, we could select only 11 workshops. We conducted the selection process in accordance with the SIGMM group guidelines, and admitted 11 strong workshops to the program, whose themes are distinct from (and complement) the areas of the main conference. The gave us the following very rich workshops program, spanning from relatively established topics at ACM MM (this is the case for those workshops which are at their 3rd edition) to topics that are very new in the ACM MM community:

  • Workshop on Music Information Retrieval with User-Centered and Multimodal Strategies (MIRUM’11)
  • Workshop on Multimedia in Forensics and Intelligence (MiFor’11)
  • Workshop on Automated Media Analysis and Production for Novel TV Services (AIEMPro 2011)
  • Workshop on Social Media (WSM11)
  • Workshop on Social and Behavioral Networked Media Access (SBNMA’11)
  • Workshop on Multimedia Technologies for Distance Learning (MTDL’11)
  • Workshop on Interactive Multimedia on Mobile and Portable Devices (IMMPD’11)
  • Joint Workshop on Modeling and Representing Events (J-MRE’11)
    • Part 1: Workshop on Events in Multimedia (EiMM11)
    • Part 2: Workshop on Sparse Representation for Event Detection in Multimedia (SRED’11)
  • Joint Workshop on Human Gesture and Behavior Understanding (J-HGBU’11)
    • Part 1: Workshop on Social Signal Processing (SSPW’11)
    • Part 2: Workshop on Multimedia access to 3D Human Objects (MA3HO’11)
  • Workshop on Medical Multimedia Analysis and Retrieval (MMAR)
  • Workshop on Ubiquitous Meta User Interfaces (Ubi-MUI’11)

We would like to thank all the organizers who submitted their workshop proposals, and in particular the organizers of the workshops that appeared in the program. We are aware that new workshop format caused a significant amount of synchronization work from the organizers, who were required to align their internal deadlines and schedule with the ones of the main conference. We really appreciated their collaboration, and we reached a very interesting and successful workshop program. We hope that all ACM MM attendees enjoyed our program, and that the new format will increase the appeal of the workshops, and significantly boost intellectual exchange.

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