Software demonstrations at FPSAC
Context and purpose
Algebraic combinatorics has a long tradition of using software to support research; in particular, many of the published results and conjectures have been originally discovered through computer exploration or are backed up by calculations. This growing need is supported by regular software development efforts from the researchers.
Our community is facing the following challenges:
This is a big trend in other sciences where published results often are based on the results of computations. This is less critical in our community; nevertheless, evidence for conjectures, which orients further research, often does. It would therefore be highly desirable for readers to be able to reproduce the computations, and push them further or in other directions.
The purpose of FPSAC's software demonstrations is to encourage code sharing and reuse by providing a venue for:
- spreading the word on existing development efforts
- crediting the efforts put by researchers to not only develop software, but also share it and make it reusable
This is complemented by satellite training and collaborative development events (see e.g. Free and Practical Software for Algebraic Combinatorics'13 or Sage Days 78)
We invite presentations of any piece of software that specifically supports research and teaching in algebraic combinatorics: computational libraries, online databases, certified proofs, training portals, etc. The presenter shall be actively involved in the development.
Presenters will be given 10 minutes (15 minutes for invited presentations) to demonstrate their software to participants in a dedicated plenary session. The focus should be on explaining what the piece of software is about and prompting potential users to want to learn more. There will be 5 additional minutes between presentations for questions and setup.
The selection of the presentations will be based on the submission by email to firstname.lastname@example.org of an extended abstract (6 pages max) in the usual FPSAC format. Abstracts will be evaluated based on content, novelty, originality, importance, and the potential value of the software to the community.
Extended abstracts of accepted software presentations will be published in the conference proceedings.
The abstract will typically include:
- A description of the context and state of the art
- A description of the software itself: main functionalities and algorithms, ...
- A description of typical applications and use cases
- A comparison with existing software or algorithms
- Brief evidence for the ease of use and reuse: documentation, examples of usage, availability, license, software requirements, installation instructions, (plans for) integration in existing platforms (e.g. GAP, Magma, Maple, Mathematica, or SageMath).
- Brief evidence for software quality and sustainability: tests, development model, use of collaborative tools, etc.
When applicable, it is okay to link instead to a permanent web page prominently containing the latter two pieces of information.
The software itself shall be made publicly available for scrutinizing by the reviewers. If a specific platform is required, reviewers will make some efforts to get access to that platform and try the software.