THE PROCEDURE FOR BIDS FOR ECAI
Bid for organizing ECAI
A member of ECCAI will submit a bid to ECCAI for organizing an upcoming ECAI. A notification of the intention to bid may be required by the ECCAI Board. The timetable for notifications and detailed bids will be notified to member societies in advance.
The bid will contain at least the following information:
- Description of facilities (nature, number and sizes of rooms for academic sessions and exhibtion), geographical location, travel, accommodation costs etc;
- Detailed budget with costings for fees given various levels of participation. The effect of inflation must be mentioned; the budget must be in Euro (and in local currency as well if desired);
- a specification of who will be the Organizing Committee Chair (OCC);
- a statement by the candidate OCC that they understand and will abide by the ECCAI guidelines for the OCC;
- a first version of a memorandum of agreement (for the ECAI) between the candidate organizing association, ECCAI, OCC, Programme Committee Chair (PCC) and Conference Chair (CC). (This draft should be signed by those of the candidate OCC and the appropriate responsible officers for the candidate host organizing association [member of ECCAI].) The last memorandum of agreement signed is available here in Word, in PDF. Deviations must be negotiated with the ECCAI Board before the bid can be accepted.
Bid for Conference Chair
The Conference Chair plays a role of coordination and arbitration between the Local Chair (OCC) and the PC Chair (PCC). He has a global responsability on the conference.
Nominations for CC should be made by member societies or the ECCAI Board to the ECCAI Board in accordance with the timetable published by the ECCAI Board.
Bid for PC Chair
Nominations for PC chair should be made by member societies or the ECCAI Board to the ECCAI Board in accordance with the timetable published by the ECCAI Board.
Such nominations should be accompanied by appropriate supporting material to include a curriculum vitae, letters of support and a statement by the candidate that they will have the time necessary to be PCC.
The bid for PC Chair must include a copy of the memorandum of agreement (for the ECAI) between the candidate organizing association, ECCAI, OCC and PCC, signed by the candidate PCC.
Guidelines for Candidate Organization Committee Chairperson for ECAI
The European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, ECAI, is one of the most important activities of ECCAI. Much of the responsibility for the success of an ECAI lies with the Organization Committee Chairperson for the ECAI (to be abbreviated OC Chair, or OCC).
The following guidelines have been developed by ECCAI to facilitate the work of the OC and OCC. Any prospective OC Chair is expected to have understood these guidelines, and to abide by them.
ECCAI, and the ECCAI Board acting on its behalf, have primary and final responsibility for ECAI. Much of this responsibility, when it concerns the organization of ECAI, is delegated to the OC Chair. (The scientific program is the responsibility of the PC Chair and ECCAI.) However, in case of disagreement between ECCAI and the OC
The nomination for a candidate for the position of OC Chair will be part of a bid by a member of ECCAI to host an ECAI. Deadlines for such bids will be published in ECCAI-Bulletins, following decisions by ECCAI. The nomination should include appropriate supporting documents. To be valid, a bid must include the written agreement by the candidate OC Chair to abide by these guidelines for the OC Chair for ECAI.
The nominated OC Chair candidate should be present at the General Assembly meeting at which a decision will be taken about the ECAI in question, usually 4 years before.
Responsibilities of the OC Chair
The OC Chair is responsible for the non-scientific aspects of organizing the ECAI (rooms, exhibit space, visual aids, tea, coffee, meals, receptions, banquets, transportation, accommodation, excursions, entertainment, etc.), information about and publicity for ECAI (printing and distribution of call for papers and pre-programs, etc.) and the ECAI budget (including finding sponsors and subsidies). The OCC will carry out these responsiblities in close collaboration with the ECCAI Board and the Program Committee Chair (PC Chair, or PCC).
We give some details of some of these responsibilities:
2. Some special topics
Establishment of the Organization Committee (OC)
The OC should be able to work efficiently, and will often include a majority of members active near the venue of the ECAI. However, there should be an effort to involve also some non-local persons, including representative(s) of the ECCAI Board and previous ECAI OC's.
The OC must be approved by the ECCAI Board.
ECAI conferences are usually sufficiently large that it may well be sensible to hire a local conference company to do much of the local work. If so, the OC chair is responsible for liasing with this company and for making sure that they do what is needed and that their charges can be met through the delegate fee.
Continuity with previous ECAI's and OC's
The ECAIs are a continuing series of similar conferences, and continuity (which does not mean uniformity nor identity) with previous ECAIs is required. Reports (see 2.6) by previous OC Chairs will be appropriately consulted by the OCC.
The Call for Papers
For non-scientific aspects of the ECAI, the Call for Papers and its distribution is the responsibility of the OC. (The scientific aspects will be provided by the PC.) The Call for Papers will include the ECCAI logo, state that the ECAI is organized by the ECCAI and hosted by the local member of ECCAI (and local organizations, if any). It will include dates and places of the venue, and other organizational aspects found necessary.
The Call for Papers must be approved by the ECCAI Board, the PCC and the CC.
Similarly, the stationery, posters and all advertising for the ECAI will include the ECCAI logo, and state that the ECAI is organized by ECCAI and hosted by the local member of ECCAI.
The Tutorial programme
It is normal for the OCC to appoint a tutorial chair whose job it is to organise a tutorial programme (usually held on the first two days of the ECAI week). The tutorial chair should liaise with the PCC and the ECCAI Board in deciding on a slate of tutorial speakers. It is normal for the speakers simply to be offered a fee and travel expenses and not complementary registration to the conference as well.
The Exhibition is an important part of ECAI both because of its value to attendees and because of its revenue raising potential. The site of the exhibition should be close to the main conference site and coffee and refreshments should be available within it in order to help attract conferees in during breaks. Consideration should also be given (in conjunction with the Programme Chair) to an academic exhibition. It must be bourne in mind that the exhibition is not a guaranteed commercial success. A recent ECAI exhibition was fairly small (350 sqm) and made a loss: companies have a keen sense of value for money and possible commercial payoffs these days!
The OC Chair has primary responsibility for the ECAI budget. Part of the budget will be for the work of the PC, and will be the responsibility of the PCC. Note that all budgeting under the travel head should be for economy class travel where this is available. Also note that normally only the PCC, the OC, the CC and invited speakers have free registration.
A bid to host the ECAI (submitted to ECCAI by the candidate ECCAI member proposing to host the ECAI), will include a detailed, itemized budget proposal for the OC activities. The budget will include a sub-budget to fund the activities of the PC. Expenses to be detailed in the budget include local facilities rental, meals, coffee breaks, banquets, budget costs, proceedings, printing and distribution costs for posters, calls for papers and programmes, advertising, and fees required by professional conference organisers employed. It is expected that the OC will seek sponsorship (for example from computer firms, civic authorities etc) which may be direct financial support or discounted or otherwise subsidised provision of services required for the confence (including receptions and conference accommodation). The budget should include detailed information on all income including subsidies and sponsorships, and should describe the scenarios which will be followed if these subsidies are not obtained.
The budget should aim for a break-even point somewhat below a conservative estimate of the number of registered participants to the ECAI. Budget projections for a somewhat higher participation should also be given.
The rules for free registration at ECAI Conferences is fixed for several years.
If the bid by the candidate ECCAI member to host the ECAI is accepted by ECCAI, (significant) deviations from the proposed budget require the advance approval of the ECCAI Board.
Any loans by ECCAI to the OC or the PC will receive first priority for reimbursement.
Any surplus from the ECAI (including tutorials, expositions, workshops, etc.) will be split equally between ECCAI and the host member of ECCAI which organized the ECAI (50% for ECCAI and 50% for the host member.)
The Final Report, Evaluation and Recommendations
The OC Chair will submit to the ECCAI Board a report on the OC Chair's activities, to reach the ECCAI Secretariat ten days before the first meeting of the ECCAI Board following the ECAI.
The report will include relevant statistical information (including budget of the OC and PC Chairs and related activities), an evaluation of the strategies followed by the OC, an evaluation of the members of the OC (in particular noting the good performers and the poor performers), and recommendations to subsequent OC Chairs, PC Chairs and ECCAI.
A final, detailed, audited budget for the ECAI, together with detailed supporting documents, will be sent to the ECCAI Secretariat as soon as possible but not later than twelve months after the close of the ECAI without special permission being obtained from the ECCAI Board.
Coordination with the PC and CC
The OC, PC and CC are jointly responsible for preparing the Call for Papers.
Early coordination with the PC must be established to guarantee that the PC will have available rooms, microphones, projectors, etc. for the technical sessions.
3 Coordination with the ECCAI Board
The OCC will maintain very close contacts with the ECCAI Board on the progress of the OC. Examples of such contacts would be: sending the proposed final list of candidate OC members to the ECCAI Board at a very early stage, description of and discussion with the ECCAI Board of various OC strategies, significant budget
If requested by ECCAI, the OCC will be present at meetings of the ECCAI Board following her appointment, and at the first Board meeting following the ECAI, where she will present her final report and recommendations.
Guidelines for the ECAI Program Chairperson
The European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, ECAI, is one of the most important activities of ECCAI. Much of the responsibility for the success of an ECAI lies with the Program Committee Chairperson for the ECAI (to be abbreviated PC Chair or PCC).
Just as it has established guidelines for ECCAI members proposing to host an ECAI, the ECCAI Board hereby publishes a set of guidelines. Any prospective PC Chair is expected to have understood these guidelines, and to abide by them.
ECCAI, and the ECCAI Board acting on its behalf, have primary and final responsibility for ECAI. Much of this responsibility, when it concerns the ECAI scientific program, is delegated to the PC Chair. However, in case of disagreement between ECCAI and the PC Chair, the decisions of ECCAI (represented by its Board) are preponderant.
Nominations for candidates for the position of PC Chair should be received by the ECCAI Board at least two months before the ECCAI General Assembly votes on the ECAI. The nomination should come preferably from a member of ECCAI, and should include appropriate supporting documents. The nominated PC Chair candidate should be present at the General Assembly meeting which have to make the choice of the PCC, usually 2 years before theECAI in question. In case of absence, the candidate should indicate in writing her acceptance of the nomination, and her agreement to abide by the PC Chair conditions for ECAI.
2. Responsibilities of the PC Chair
The PC Chair is responsible for the scientific program of ECAI. The PC Chair will carry out these responsiblities in close collaboration with the ECCAI Board, the Organization Committee Chair (OC Chair) and the Conference Chair. The responsibilities of the PC Chair are:
Call for Papers
The Call for papers will include the ECCAI logo, a statement to the effect that this ECAI is organized by ECCAI and the local organizing society, a list of the program committee (PC), a list of the topics covered by this ECAI (with short description, if needed), information on the venue of ECAI, information on submitting papers, etc. The Call for Papers must be approved by the ECCAI Board.
Establishment of the Program Committee (PC)
The PC should cover the areas of AI judged important for the ECAI, and should be balanced among the members of ECCAI, while maintaining a very high level of scientific and professional rigor. As mentioned in 2.0, the PC must be approved by the ECCAI Board.
Establishment of a pool of referees
The referees should cover the areas of AI judged important for the ECAI, and should be balanced among the members of ECCAI, while maintaining a high level quality and efficiency. The distribution of referees should try to compensate possible imbalances in the distribution of the PC.
The PCC should consult with the Programme Committee and the ECCAI Board in choosing a set of invited speakers. It is expected that a reasonable proportionof invited speakers will be from Europe.
Organization of the Papers
Receipt of papers, distribution to PC members and referees, gathering of evaluations, final evaluations, notification of authors, etc. Publication in the proceedings, and coordination with the publisher of the proceedings, etc.
Continuity with previous ECAI's and PC Chairs
The ECAIs are a continuing series of similar conferences, and continuity (which does not mean uniformity nor identity) with previous ECAIs is required. Reports by previous PC Chairs will be appropriately consulted by the PC Chair.
Final Report, Evaluation and Recommendations
The PC Chair will submit to the ECCAI Board a report on the PC Chair's activities; this should arrive not later than ten days before the Board Meeting following the end of the ECAI in question. The report will include relevant statistical information (including budget), an evaluation of the strategies followed by the PC, an evaluation of the members of the PC and the referees (in particular noting the good performers [high quality work and evaluation, promptly forwarded, etc.], and the poor performers [poor quality work, disregard of deadlines, etc.]), and recommendations to subsequent PC Chairs, OC Chairs and ECCAI.
Within one month of nomination, the PC Chair will submit to the ECCAI Board a detailed, itemized budget proposal for the PC activities. This budget must be approved by the OC Chair and the ECCAI Board. Budget overruns are to be avoided. Quite exceptionally, they may be allowed but require the advance approval of the OC Chair and the ECCAI Board.
The budget should include expenses for the programme committee meeting, postage, telephone and courrier costs, and possibly expenses for a trip to visit the conference site by the PC Chair.
Normally, travel expenses are only paid for PC area chairs to attend the programme committee meeting. In deciding the number of areas, the cost of paying for area chair's travel expenses should be bourne in mind.
Normally, all travel (both PC and invited speaker) should be by economy class.
Only the travel of the PCC to the ECAI conference itself is a chargable conference expense. This should be bourne by the general confence budget rather than the PC budget. It is not normal to pay travel expenses to the conference itself for PC members.
Coordination with the OC
Early coordination with the OC must be established to guarantee the availability of rooms, microphones, projectors, etc.
The coverage of expenses for people invited to the conference requires written agreement by the Local Arrangement Chair.
3. Coordination with the ECCAI Board
The PC Chair will maintain very close contacts with the ECCAI Board on the progress of the PC. Examples of such contacts would be: sending of a list of candidate PC members and referees at a very early stage to the ECCAI Board, description and discussion of various PC strategies, etc.
If requested, the PC Chair will be present at meetings of the ECCAI Board following her appointment, and at the first Board meeting following the ECAI to make his final report and recommendations.