, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Pages: pp. 8-11
This special issue represents the fifth anniversary of an important tradition in the computer architecture community: IEEE Micro's Top Picks from the Computer Architecture Conferences. This tradition, initiated by IEEE Micro's former Editor in Chief, Pradip Bose, attempts to share with the IEEE Micro readership a sampling of the top papers published in computer architecture in the past year. In choosing these papers, we ask ourselves, "For our colleagues who were not able to attend any conferences this year, which few papers would we recommend that they read?" We select these papers on the basis of the novelty of the work and its potential impact on industry—either short-term or long-term. As always, it is a difficult task to select only 10 from the many high-quality papers that have already been distinguished by being published in the proceedings of our field's top conferences. This year was no different.
For each submission, we requested, in addition to a copy of the conference paper, a three-page summary that highlighted the novelty of the work and argued its relevance for architects and designers of current- and future-generation computing systems. We received 70 submissions.
To review the submissions, we assembled a program committee of 33 highly respected architects from industry and academia:
Each paper was assigned and received five reviews, all from program committee members. In assigning the reviews, we ensured that every paper had at least two reviews by industry representatives. On October 23, we held a day-long program committee (PC) meeting in Chicago, at which we had 30 of the 33 program committee members in attendance. (Three PC members took part by phone, due to unexpected obligations to product teams and a family crisis.)
Prior to this meeting, each PC member had read all of the reviews for their assigned papers and, taking these other viewpoints into account, entered a final score for each paper. For those papers lacking consensus in this final scoring, committee members discussed the papers by e-mail in advance of the PC meeting to try to reach an agreement. We found this process to be invaluable in making the PC meeting run smoothly, as few unexpected issues came to light at the meeting.
In anticipation of the difficulty of selecting only 10 papers from the many high-quality submissions, we used a two-pass acceptance process: On the initial pass, we voted each paper into one of three categories— definite accept, accept-if-space, and reject. Then, at the end of the day, we voted on which of the accept-if-space papers we should include. This approach addressed the concern of many PC members about committing to accept a paper before they had seen the whole field, but avoided tabling an unduly large number of papers.
Each paper discussion was open to all committee members except those who had a conflict of interest with the work under consideration; members were requested to leave the room during the discussion and decision process for papers with which they had conflicts. Papers that included a program chair among their authors were handled completely outside the purview of the program chairs; David Albonesi, Editor in Chief of IEEE Micro, coordinated reviewer assignment, collected reviews by e-mail, and led the discussion for these submissions.
For this year's Top Picks issue, the committee selected 10 articles that demonstrate the breadth of ongoing computer architecture research (see the sidebar, "Top Picks of 2007").
Reliability and variability
Memory system design
Many people contributed to this special issue of IEEE Micro. We must first acknowledge the outstanding support from Editor in Chief David Albonesi, former Editor in Chief Pradip Bose, and the IEEE Micro staff—especially Robin Baldwin, Cheryl Baltes, Lindsey Buscher, Thomas Centrella, Noel Deeley, Carmen Garvey, Patricia Hildenbrand, Keith Parsons, Joan Taylor, Margaret Weatherford, and Alkenia Winston. We particularly thank the members of the program committee for their hard work and outstanding professionalism throughout the process. A special thanks goes to Edward S. Lee of University of Illinois, who went beyond the call of duty to ensure that the submission and review process went smoothly. Finally, we thank all authors who submitted papers; the depth of quality present in our top conferences makes selecting so few papers very difficult, but we wouldn't want it any other way.