Sunday, December 7, 2008

Call for Papers for ORF 2009


Just in time for Christmas / Channuchah (or Hannucah if you prefer).  Here's the schedule for October Rules Fest 2009:
  • April 15 : Deadline for Abstracts
  • May 1: Response by selection committee
  • July 15: Deadline for White Papers
  • Aug 1: Response by selection committee
  • September 30: Deadline for Overhead (PPT or PDF)
  • October ??: Conference Tutorials and Boot Camps
  • October ??: Conference Begins at 9:00
  • October ??: Conference Ends at 5:30
OK, that sets up a seemingly workable time table.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.   If you are set up to blog here, then please respond with a blog rather than a comment.  Thanks.  Now, what about the talks themselves?  What about the Tutorials?  What about the Boot Camps?  

Tutorials:  I'm suggesting that the Tutorials be on Monday only, all day, 9 - 12 and 2 - 6.  We should be able to teach something about rulebased systems in 7 hours that regular Java, C++, C#, COBOL programmers can take away and build upon for the conference or for the next year(s) study programs.  Anyone wanting to teach or lead a tutorial, PLEASE let me know.  After all, you don't want me teaching everything do you?  :-)  

Boot Camp(s):  This is could be for Monday and Tuesday or Tuesday only.  What we need are vendors who want to have a BC for their product or, better yet, a neutral ground BC (non-vendor-specific) for those who just want a follow-up from Monday.  If the vendors want to have BC on Monday or Monday/Tuesday then I propose that each vendor do whatever they would like to do with a four-hour session; whether a lab, whether demo+lab, whether all demo-instructor-led demo/lab, or just a real BC where the student is expected to already HAVE the software loaded on their laptops and, possibly, already have the labs exercises downloaded from the internet and come to work on solutions.  The possibilities are limitless.  

Or, we could do both on Monday and Tuesday and have two tracks.  ???  One on tutorials to teach rules to experienced programmers who have never done rules and another one that is a boot camp for experienced rulebased KE or RE guys.  

Presentations:  This is the core of ORF!  Those with approved Abstracts will then present White Papers (real ones, not just copies of a PPT) for approval that the attendee could follow should they come into the session late or even miss the session.   White Papers can be rejected for being too simple, too commercial, too abstract (probably not) or even too complex (hardly likely).  Our biggest problem with 2008 was that a few of the presentations were either too simple (managerial level) or too commercial (appeals to the product itself). 

What we want for 2009 is a presentation of  technical thoughts, not just a slide show of product benefits.  Start with a white paper abstract, send it in and immediately begin the white paper.  The white paper should be at least three pages and not more than 20 pages, complete with notes, instructions, forumlae, foundation theory, etc., etc.  In other word, something that would be presentable at any IEEE-AI, AAAI or DSI conference.  After all, this is supposed to be a "technical" conference, not a product presentation for managers or CxO guys (excepting the CTO guy, or course)

Here is a thought on presentations schedule:
  • Wednesday - How to gather requirements.  How to design the architecture for a rulebase.  Knowledge Acquisition.  First steps for a project.  Project design.
  • Thursday - Writing the rules for a particular problem.  Case studies in detail (without revealing any of the company confidential informaiton) would be good.  
  • Friday - Pure Technology Day (PTD): This would be the day to discuss three, four or five of the leading technology problems, proposed solutions, new technology for the next year, where we are going with what we're doing, AND, lastly, again, a conference wrap-up (2008 had a great wrap-up) and Friday supper somewhere that there isn't so much noise that you can't hear yourself think.  - maybe a reservation somewhere? - then off to the Final Pub Night and fly home Saturday morning.
OK, guys - this is YOUR conference and YOU get to determine what we're going to do.  Personally, I would like three days of technology.  But the consensus in 2008 was that we needed more on "How To" lessons that high-level, managerial talks or academic talks.  Whatever...  :-)

BTW, the date and location has not been fixed yet.  We could always move it forward or backward a week if there is a good reason to do so.  Some have expressed a preference not to interfere with Halloween (I didn't know that Halloween was a national holiday but I could be wrong about that as well) which is the reasoning for the earlier week selection.  However, if the majority vote for the following week, so be it.


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