Fun_People Archive
23 Mar
Need some publications?

Date: Thu, 23 Mar 95 12:32:23 PST
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Need some publications?

Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Dan Wallach <dwallach@CS.Princeton.EDU>
From: "W. Purgathofer, E. Groeller, M. Feda" <>
Subject: Beware of VIDEA!

Dear colleague,

enclosed we send you very shocking information on the "scientific"
conference VIDEA'95 organised by the Wessex Institute of Technology. To
prevent such cases in the future, please take time and read the enclosed
paper. We promise, that you will not be only shocked, but that you will
also have much fun! All given information is absolutely true and can be
proven by us.

Please, forward this mail to all colleagues in technological fields who
could be affected by these activities of the Wessex Institute of Technology
(can be reached via

Werner Purgathofer, Eduard Groeller, Martin Feda
Institute of Computer Graphics, Technical University of Vienna
Karlsplatz 13 / 186                 email:
A-1040 Wien / Austria               WWW:

Begin of enclosed paper:

 |    WARNING: Beware of VIDEA!                          |
 |    Werner Purgathofer, Eduard Groeller, Martin Feda   |
 |    TU Wien / Austria                                  |


This paper illustrates that there are conferences which will destroy
confidence in scientific life if the community does not forbid them. The
Wessex Institute of Technology (UK) [1] organizes a whole series of regular
conferences on various topics [2]. Our experiences are only with one of
these, "VIDEA", but one should probably also be careful with the others. It
is an offense against honorable scientists to offer false publication
possibilities under a scientifically serious disguise for high fees. Our
conclusion is: VIDEA accepts EVERYTHING! And we conclude from that that a
publication in the VIDEA proceedings is worth NOTHING AT ALL! And to
organize such a conference is simply a fraud. Conferences like VIDEA are a
morally dispisable scheme to allow people to buy themselves publications
without having to undergo any type of reviewing. It simply increases the
flow of worthless data and makes it more difficult for scientists to
extract really useful information


Serious conferences usually introduce themselves by distributing a "Call
for Papers" including a submission deadline. After having received
contributions a technical program committee reviews and evaluates these to
come to a decision which of the submitted paper proposals shall be accepted
for the conference. Some conferences ask for abstracts first to be able to
decide whether a topic is appropriate for their event, and ask for full
papers (to be reviewed again) only thereafter.

This holds also for a conference called "Visualization and Intelligent
Design in Engineering and Architecture" (VIDEA'93). Having accepted to
become a member of the program committee for VIDEA'93, one of the authors
made two suspicious observations. Firstly, he received exactly zero
abstracts and zero papers to review, and was never informed about any
program committee meetings nor of any reviewing results. The program for
the conference was finished apparently without involvement of the
scientific advisory committee. We recognized this by receiving the printed
advance program. Secondly, we submitted three papers to this conference,
and they were all accepted without any comments, grades, or whatsoever.
Meaningless to say that the visit to this conference was very disappointing
both in the sense of contents and in the sense of organization.

When two of the authors were asked to become members of the program
committee for VIDEA'95 (to take place in La Coruna, Spain), we planned to
test if any reviews take place at all. We would send them four abstracts
that are obviously plain nonsense, that no excuse for accepting them could
be taken seriously. This paper reports about this activity.

The submitted abstracts

We decided to write more than one crazy abstract to make sure that an
acceptance cannot be interpreted as accident and so we tried different
types of weird papers proposals. The first of four abstracts we produced
was simply a completely irrelevant topic, namely how to create footprints
on the walls of public rooms. It includes several statements that every
reviewer must recognize as joke. The complete text is given in abstract 1.

Extended abstract 1:
The Footprint Function for
the Realistic Texturing of Public Room Walls

Today's radiosity methods are able to produce nearly perfect light
distributions for interior rooms. Unrealistic appearance now mainly is due
to missing texturing of the walls. One important feature of public room
walls are footprints in the lower areas. This paper presents a set of
simple functions to easily generate a class of footprint textures for such
applications. Different randomization techniques ensure the realistic
appearance of the results. This technique is of increasing importance for
the visualization of architectural objects in the future.
realism, rendering, textures, footprints

Today's radiosity methods are able to produce nearly perfect light
distributions of interior rooms. Unrealistic appearance now mainly is due
to missing texturing of the walls. One important feature of public room
walls are footprints in the lower areas.

The Footprint Function
The basic footprint function is a combination of trivial, i.e. easy to
implement, parametric functions. The footprint is divided into a ball and a
heel which can have independent sole textures. The sizes are chosen such
that a simulation of shoe sizes 35 to 42 for women profiles and 39 to 46
for men profiles is performed.

Randomization Techniques
Distribution techniques will be presented that ensure that the lower part
of the wall contains significantly more footprints than the higher parts.
Especially, no footprints must occur above a certain threshold height, due
to physiological limitations of the human being. Additionally, random
functions will take care that most footprints remain incomplete and vary in
color and shape.

Preliminary investigations are encouraging. As we have not implemented the
new method yet, there are no concrete results, yet. The final paper might
include images.

A footprint function for the realistic imaging of walls is presented.
Details of all functions are given to ensure an easy implementation for the

to be included in the final paper.
(end extended abstract 1)

The second abstract describes a correct method which makes no sense at all,
that is how to render interior rooms without light. Obviously, the
resulting image will be completely black. This was written as in abstract

Extended abstract 2:
Efficient Radiosity for Daylight Simulation in Closed Environments

Radiosity is a useful tool for architects and lighting engineers to
simulate illumination in the interior of buildings. Unfortunately, the
computation time for radiosity is very high. However, radiosity algorithms
can take advantage of special scene properties of specific classes of
environments. Exploiting the additional information about the scene
structure of a particular class can decrease the computation time
significantly. The aim of this paper is to speed up the radiosity
computation for the class of closed environments without artificial light

Two Restrictions on the Scene Structure
The first restriction on the scene is that it is closed. The reason for
this restriction is the fact that radiosity is based upon the energy
conservation principle, that means that at any time the amount of emitted
energy equals the amount of absorbed energy plus the amount of energy
leaving the scene. In closed scenes no energy leaves the scene, thus
simplifying the radiosity computation. However, this restriction does not
impose problems, because radiosity is mostly used for interior scenes.
The second restriction is that only daylight can be considered. Radiosity
algorithms solve a set of equations, where the radiosities of patches are
the unknowns and the emissions are the constant terms. In conventional
radiosity all patches are allowed to emit light, i.e. to be an artificial
light source. If we assume that no patch has emission, we only have to
consider daylight. This allows the use of very efficient solution methods
known in numerical mathematics for the set of equations. The second
restriction does not limit the range of applications too much as well,
because in most cases architects are interested in visualizing their design
with daylight conditions.

Mathematical Foundation of the New Method
Details will be described in the final paper.

The new method reduces the computation time of both the radiosity
evaluation and of image generation. Images can be generated at interactive
rates even for very complex scenes, making the method suitable for
walk-throughs and VR-applications. Since numerical techniques are mainly
replaced by analytical formulas, no aliasing effects appear.

Conclusion and Future Work
The development of radiosity algorithms for special classes of scenes is a
promising field of future research. Such algorithms are significantly
faster and possibly more accurate than non-specialized algorithms.
(end extended abstract 2)

These first two productions have at least a little bit the structure of a
scientific paper abstract. What we also wanted to try was, if VIDEA would
accept its own text as abstract. So we copied the complete introduction
from the "Call for Papers" and gave this abstract the title of the
conference. Minor changes were only made like changing the word
"conference" to "paper". The result is given in abstract 3.

Extended abstract 3:
Visualization and Intelligent Design in Engineering  and Architecture

In recent years, remarkable advances in computer visualization of objects
and physical phenomena have been made. Computer images can now represent
real objects very accurately. These techniques can be enhanced by defining
any desired path, creating animation, moving computer views and real world
video models, as well as sound tracks, resulting in multimedia
representations. The development of these techniques has been possible
because of the improvements in computer graphic devices, better algorithms
and faster processors, which allow workstations and high speed PCs to be
suitable platforms for visualization and have greatly improved the ability
of high-performance computers to produce computer images, in animated
forms, of complex engineering and architecture problems allowing a dynamic
analysis of their behavior.
Visualization has been essential for the development of new design
techniques in engineering and architecture. The integration of computer
visualization with other advances in computer computational sciences, such
as knowledge based support systems, object bases, advance numerical
methods, etc. provide the basis for intelligent design systems.
The objective of this paper is to discuss advances in visualization as a
tool for intelligent design in engineering and architecture. The paper aims
to bring together research in computational mathematics and industrial
hardware and software, as well as science, engineering and architecture for
developing practical applications in these various fields. A presentation
of our results on workstations with graphic peripherals and personal
computers will be available to the audience.
(end extended abstract 3)

Last but not least we decided to produce an abstract without any content,
just complete nonsense. So we took a dictionary of information processing
words and selected randomly some 40 phrases from there and joined them
together to a fantastically technical sounding text. The given reference
is, of course, the utilized dictionary! We had much fun with abstract 4.

Extended abstract 4:
Distributed Multiprogramming System
for Pen Selectors with Error Probability

Extended Abstract
Controllable connections for input/output supervisor channel adapters with
line frequency scanning are often used for unavailable time. This paper
describes the use of disturbance voltage with equivalent junction
temperature as OP-trade-in for zone packed print.

The main advantage over previous methods are the data transmission lines
and routine conversion. Addressing, relative to preferred characters, uses
a magnetic disk machine to enable incremental programming. The identifier
transmission group correlates to non transmitting typewriters.

Statistically spoken, manufacturing control and messages are mixed so that
the primary supervisor may be located in different physical records. A
collection of data is defined as the unit of transfer between the program
and format management.

The theory is based on arithmetic overflow, qualified names, and axial lead
resistors. Using the Sparbuchdrucker-theorem [1] modified by ledger
adjustment sales in combination with a secondary operator control station
allows the number of single machines to roll over the keyboard. The basic
origin coordinates ensure a diminished radix complement. In the future this
generalized sequential access method will be the source for forced control
field lines.

[1] Fachausdr=FCcke der Informationsverarbeitung, IBM Deutschland GmbH, 1985=
(end extended abstract 4)

All abstracts were sent to the conference in November 1994 and on January
14th, 1995 we received the results. All four abstract have been "reviewed
and provisionally accepted"! This means, that the VIDEA conference
organizers [3] claim someone has reviewed these abstracts and has found
them suitable for the conference! As members of the program committee two
of us had nothing to do with reviewing.

The acceptance letter also contains information from which can be concluded
that final papers will only be printed in the proceedings if the
registration fee is paid together with the final paper. Additionally, the
letter states "Due to the success of the conference and to be fair, we can
only allow each participant to present one paper at the meeting which will
be published in the proceedings" which makes sure that every published
paper is paid for by a registration fee. The publisher (Elsevier) probably
doesn't have the slightest idea that they are printing non-reviewed
material as high-quality books.


We believe that Wessex Institute of Technology (or at least some people
there) profit in a very dirty way from the international pressure on
scientists to have long publication lists. They pretend to organize
scientific conferences by giving them the look of such events. They use the
names of the program committee members for economical purposes only. They
"sell" publication possibilities to less experienced or naive members of
our community and in this way ruin their work by producing a worthless
publication. It is very dangerous to tolerate such developments. This would
ruin the seriousness of our scientific culture.

The effects of this little test definitely must be that this conference of
the Wessex Institute of Technology is abandoned and ignored in the future
and that the names of its organizers [3] are watched very carefully for
their future actions. We will resign from the program committee immediately
and try to warn all other program committee members and authors of accepted

Another effect of such scandals should be that the length of the
publication lists of scientists must not become so important. Rather than
that, other evaluation measures that emphasize quality instead of quantity
should be internationally further encouraged. Only by reducing the pressure
to produce lots of papers can the danger of such unmoral events be reduced.
One positive side-effect would be a reduced intellectual pollution in some

A third aspect is how scientifically serios institutions can find support
in the organization of local conferences. We want to strongly recommend to
contact the established scientific associations of your field to ensure
serious support, e.g. the national computer societies, or specialized
associations for specific fields. They usually can help with publicity,
financing, and high quality publications.

Important Note

We believe that Wessex Institute of Technology is fully responsible for
this affair, and that both the university cite where VIDEA shall take place
and the publisher who will produce the proceedings are fooled in the same
way as the participants.


[1] Wessex Institute of Technology
Ashurst Lodge, Ashurst, Southampton, SO40 7AA, UK.
Tel +44(703)293223, Fax +44(703)292853, email

[2] WIT-conferences in 1995:
SQM 95 (Software Quality Management), Seville, Spain
WATER POLLUTION 95, Porto Carras, Greece
MARINA 95 (Planning Design and Operation) St Raphael, France
CMEN 95 (Comp. Methods & Experimental Measurements), Capri, Italy
STREMA 95 (Structural Repairs & Maintenance of Hist.Buildungs), Crete, Greec=
SDDE 95 (Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Eng.), Crete, Greece
VIDEA 95 (Visualization & Intell. Design in Eng. & Architecture), La
Coruna, Spain
ASE 95 (Appl. of High Performance Computers in Eng.), Milan, Italy
BIOMED 95 (Simulation in Biomedicine), Milan, Italy
MOVING BOUNDARIES 95, Ljubljana, Slovenia
URBAN TRANSPORT 95, Southampton, UK
AIENG 95 (Appl.of Artificial Intelligence in Eng.), Udine, Italy
CONTACT MECHANICS 95, Ferrara, Italy
BEM 17 (Boundary Element Method), Madison-Wisconsin, USA
BETECH 95 (Boundary Element Technology), Liege, Belgium
OPTI 95 (Computer Aided Optimum Design of Structures), Miama, USA
MARINE TECHNOLOGY 95, Szczecin, Poland
AIR POLLUTION 95, Porto Carras, Greece
MICROSIM 95 (Sim.&Design of Microsystems & Microstructures), Southampton, UK
CMT 95 (Comp.Methods & Testing for Eng. Integrity), Kualar Lumpur, Malaysia

[3] Director: Professor C.A. Brebbia, Wessex Institute of Technology

[=] © 1995 Peter Langston []