Forum Numerica - Pierluigi Crescenzi: "On computer science conferences and their temporal evolution"


In this talk we will present the evolution of computer science conferences over the past 50 years, by analysing data from the DBLP database.

Our goal was to try and understand the evolution of each conference throughout its history, the ebb and flow in the popularity of its research areas, and the centrality of its authors, as measured by several metrics from network science, amongst other topics. In particular we tried to answer several different questions.
How did the conference evolve in terms of its number of authors, number of papers, and number of collaboration sizes? How much the conference was open to new entries? Did the percentage of female authors change over time? Were different topics more popular in different periods? If the conference covers a broad spectrum of research areas, did the percentage of each area change over time? Did the conference present the small-world phenomenon? What are the most influential authors of the conference?

The tentative answer to these questions was given by either analysing only one conference at a time or by performing a comparative analysis between a specific set of conferences. We will also briefly present the web-based resources that accompany this talk. It goes without saying that our analysis has to be taken with a huge pinch of salt and is only meant to be food for thought for the community.

About the speaker

Pierluigi Crescenzi is a professor at the Gran Sasso Science Institute. Before joining GSSI, he has been researcher at the University of L’Aquila, and professor at the University of Rome, Florence, and Paris. He has taught in basically every field of computer science. He is the author of more than 130 scientific publications in the field of algorithm theory and its applications. He is co-author of 5 university textbooks, including 2 in English, and a popular Italian book. He is member of the editorial board of JCSS. He is co-author of the NP optimisation compendium, which is still widely cited. He is co-inventor of a US Patent on an IP address lookup algorithm and he has been a member of the steering committee of the COST 295 DYNAMO action. His current research is mostly focus on the analysis of complex networks and, more specifically, of temporal networks.