The Web Conference 2019 in San Francisco
In May 2019, Hady traveled to San Francisco for the Web Conference 2019 (previously the conference series was known as World Wide Web or WWW).
The conference attracted a large number participation, more than 1400 attendees from various countries. It was also aptly located in the heart of Silicon Valley, attracting many speakers from industry including the famed Jeff Dean of Google who spoke of (could you guess it?) deep learning.
This is the most respected conference on the Web. The papers were organized into various tracks, each with its own Program Committee. The largest track was Web Mining and Content Analysis, which was also the track in which our paper was accepted. Overall, the full paper acceptance rate was 18%. Tiny Singapore had 49 submissions, of which 14 were accepted for a country acceptance rate of 28%. Incidentally, Singapore was also 6th in terms of the number of accepted submissions, after US, China, UK, Germany, and Australia.
Our paper Multimodal Review Generation for Recommender Systems co-authored by Tuan Truong and Hady was presented in the morning of the first day of the main conference, followed by a poster session in the afternoon. The paper postulates that modeling a review holistically, by predicting its rating as well as generating its review text with the help of the accompanying review photos, would be useful for recommendations.
The Web Conference was also a keen reminder that we were all connected in the Web of life. Not only did Hady get to catch up with former colleagues and acquaintances known since his postdoc days in Silicon Valley, but he was also reunited with his first PhD graduate Tuan Le, who two years after graduating with a PhD from SMU would soon be starting a faculty position at New Mexico State University in the Fall 2019. All the best!