The organising committee should comprise at least the following roles, staffed by separate physical individuals:
- General chair: coordinates the working of the organising committee, arranges a venue, is the contact point with the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, and is ultimately responsible for the conference. Depending on whether a separate publicity chair position is created or not, the general chair could also be responsible for advertising the conference. Note that the general chair will have numerous unforeseen tasks, and should be prepared to invest a large amount of time and effort in the conference.
- Program chair: the second most important role, the program chair is responsible for assembling a program committee (list of reviewers), allocating papers to reviewers, making sure reviews are returned in time, and making informed decisions about paper acceptance. If there is no separate tutorials/keynote chair, the program chair is also responsible for allocating tutorials and inviting keynote speakers, though the latter should be coordinated with the general chair. This role could be split among two persons, preferably with different geographical origin and topical expertise.
- Proceedings chair: responsible for creating IEEE-compliant proceedings from the final versions of accepted papers. Should be highly competent in LaTeX.
- Local arrangements chair: responsible for all the arrangements on the ground, so everything from that the appropriate rooms are actually booked to that the projectors work and that the coffee is good.
- Finance chair: keeps the budget and takes care of registration system and purchases relating to the conference. Makes sure that IEEE as well as the local conference venue is happy with the financial arrangements.
Additionally, the general chair might decide to create several other positions, to ease the burden for the general chair and program chair. The following are recommended roles – note that in many cases, a single person can assume more than one of these roles:
- Tutorials chair: makes sure that there are several high-quality tutorial proposals (e.g. by approaching possible speakers) and takes decisions about which tutorials to accept.
- Special sessions chair: ensure that there are special session proposals, and takes decisions about which special sessions to accept.
- Keynote chair: invites keynote speakers and handles the details regarding travel and remuneration for these. Keynote speaker choices should be agreed with the general chair.
- Competition chair: responsible for ensuring that several high-quality game-based AI competitions are run in conjunction with the conference, and the certificates are made for the winners.
- Publicity chair: publicises the conference, including but not limited to sending the Call for Papers to all relevant mailing lists (most importantly the cigames Google group)
- Webmaster: Creates a well-designed and usable website, and keeps it updated. Ensures that proceedings are published on the website after the conference.
- Social media chair: Provides a strong presence in social media, including continuous posting of updates and photos on social networks during the conference, and facilitates discussion in social media e.g. by defining and using an official Facebook group and Twitter hashtag.
It is desirable that the composition of the organising committee reflects the geographical as well as the topical and methodological diversity of the CIG community. The organising committee members should represent multiple countries and multiple academic institutions on more than one continent. They should also not all be working in the same sub-field of CIG. At the same time, for efficiency it is advisable that the general chair keeps a tightly focused team of collaborators. A practical solution is that the general chair, local arrangements chair and finance chair come from the same institution, whereas the other committee members are distributed over different institutions.
Naturally, the positions should be staffed by people with the appropriate competence and seniority – e.g. the program chair should have extensive reviewing experience and know the community well, and the finance chair should have a basic understanding of accounting. At least one, preferably more than one, of the organising committee members should be a woman.
In addition to the organising committee, it is a good idea to recruit a number of student helpers (e.g. from the academic institution hosting the conference) to help with tasks such as A/V support, manning the registration desk etc.
The conference usually features a number of tutorials, and these usually run on the first day of the conference. Tutorials aim to disseminate knowledge of a topic or method that a large part of the community might be interested in. A tutorial can take many different forms, e.g. practical demonstrations, traditional talks and interactive sessions. A tutorial should usually be between 1 and 2 hours, and should not only be based on the work of a single researcher or group – it is important that tutorials are not thought of as long-form paper presentations. While tutorials are of special importance to early-career researchers, it is advisable that they be made both accessible and interesting to as large parts of the audience as possible.
Tutorial speaker usually get free registration. It is advisable that the conference has an open call for tutorials, but the tutorial chair might also directly ask people who might give interesting tutorials.
The conference should have a number of keynotes, approximately one per day is a good number. Keynotes are meant to inspire the community and spread knowledge of new approaches and results that would be interesting/useful for all conference attendees to know about. The conference pays travel and accommodation for the keynote speaker, and does not charge a registration fee. Try to keep a balance of academic and industrial keynote speakers.
Academic keynote speakers should be renowned researchers that perform research that is relevant and interesting for CIG attendees, but not necessarily CIG research in its own right. (E.g., they could work on games but not CI, or CI but not games; it is of course also fine to invite keynote speakers from within the community.) Industrial keynote speakers should be doing work of some impact and have something interesting to say for the community.
Keynote speakers should not have keynoted any CIG conference in recent years, and should not be part of the organising committee of the conference this year. At least one of the keynote speakers should be a woman.
The program committee should be at least equal to the number of expected submissions, and should consist mostly of people actively working in the field. It is good practice for program chairs to start from the program committee of the previous year, add new members that have recently become active in the field, and possibly remove members who either did not perform their reviews last year or have decisively moved away from the field.
CIG usually features single-blind paper reviewing, so that the author name is visible to the reviewer but the reviewer name invisible to the author. Each paper should be reviewed by at least three reviewers, preferably four. Reviewers should ideally not be assigned more than three or four papers each. Reviewers should be explicitly informed about the scope of and criteria for acceptance to CIG (see below) in the invitation mail. It is a good idea to use paper bidding (as available in e.g. EasyChair) to allow reviewers some influence over which papers they receive.
CIG is a conference with a relatively broad scope. The conference gathers gathers a diverse community of researchers, interested in everything from mathematical game theory to evolution of game strategies to quantitative game design studies. “Computational intelligence” is a rather broad and fuzzy term, and so is “game”. The proceedings of previous years’ CIG conferences is a good guide to the scope of the conference; if similar papers were accepted in previous years, the paper is in scope. Examples of papers that are not in scope are those that do not contain any computational element at all, or that are not about games in any ordinary sense of the word.
While having an inclusive list of topics, CIG is a high-quality conference and does not accept bad papers. Papers that do not contain an original research contribution should be rejected. Papers that are so badly written as not to be understandable should also be rejected, as well as papers where authors engage in extensive self-plagiarism.
CIG does not have an explicit acceptance threshold, but based on the experience from previous years, around 50% of papers have been accepted in years with high submission numbers.
CIG awards at least one best paper award at each conference. The best paper is selected by an attendee vote (secret ballot) from among a shortlist of papers. The shortlist is compiled by the program chair(s) from those papers that have received the highest review scores and/or highest number of best paper award nominations. For example, the shortlist could consist of the five papers with the best review scores, which are then presented back-to-back in a plenary “best paper session”; at the end of the session, all attendees indicate their preference for best paper (or ranking among the papers) on a slip of paper which is deposited in a ballot box on exiting the room.
The general chair can choose to create additional awards, such as more than one best paper award, a best student paper award, or best paper awards in specific areas.
The game-based AI competitions also have awards, these are administered by the competition chair.
It is strongly advised to include a program of social activities with the conference. This typically includes a conference banquet taking place in the evening of the penultimate day of the conference. This banquet is free of charge for those who have registered for the conference. Most conference announcements, including recipients of awards and location of next year’s conference, are made at the banquet.
Additionally, the organising committee can choose to organise additional social activities on the other evenings of the other conference days or immediately preceding or following the conference.