Confessions of a researchaholic

March 1, 2018

Review fest

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:56 pm
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I spent about 63 hours reviewing 23 papers during the last month or so. I did all these during the evenings and weekends so that I can focus on research and coding during “official” work hours. I felt my head is spinning a bit, but such intense reviews are the best antidote for post SIGGRAPH deadline withdrawal which I have suffered in the past as a professor for which paper reviewing felt like the “official” part of the job.

Adobe has this nice matching-grants program which can convert paper reviewing hours for charity donations. So now my paper review efforts can be counted as volunteer activities and I won’t feel guilty next time I don’t give money to random beggars on the streets.

February 22, 2018

Replicability stamp

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:47 am
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The replicability stamp requires more than just the source code, such as datasets and scripts to replicate all results and timing information in the paper.

That may seem a lot of work, but is totally worth it.

First of all, it is a good practice to manage a research project from day one for replicability; a script that can reproduce all current results can help debugging and collaboration. I did that even for my single authored projects.

Even if we have not started the project in that way, it is still worth doing due to the amount of leverage as Andy Grove called in his seminal book “High Output Management”. A single unit of efforts we put in for replicability can potentially benefit many people who want to apply, reproduce, or compare against your works.
You would be more popular, your papers would get more citations and follow-ups, and nowadays many recruiters look at GitHub repos.
🙂

February 12, 2018

Replicability versus reproducibility

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:18 am
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There are some technical definitions (e.g. here), but allow me to put it more succinctly:

Reproducibility – people believe they can replicate the methods and outcomes based on the information provided in the research documents.

Replicability – they can really do so.

🙂

January 1, 2018

Bean-counting

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:39 pm
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This has been a widely discussed topic, but when it comes to academic publishing, focus on quality over quantity.

Take my PhD adviser as an example. At this moment, he has “only” 27 journal papers and 40 conference papers according to dblp, but nearly 40000 citations, including 10+ papers with 1000+ citations, according to Google scholar.
In comparison, there are people around his seniority and in our fields (for calibration) with roughly 10-times publications but only one-tenth of citations.
(Citation is one of the mostly commonly used measure for quality/impact, but others are possible, such as products.)

He once told me that the best timing to publish papers is when people beg us to do so (using Brain Curless’ first SIGGRAPH paper as an example). That is probably too extreme, but publishing low quality papers not only wastes our time (it is better to go out and play) but also dilutes our reputation.

December 17, 2017

Q and A

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:19 pm
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Sometimes the answers are hard to find because we ask the wrong questions.

October 7, 2017

Dream catcher

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:23 am
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Waking up in the middle of the night, sometimes I can remember ideas from my dreams.

September 6, 2017

Co-managing research materials

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:14 pm
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Instead of hosting research materials on our own servers (as I did in the old days for both ongoing projects and published outcomes), it is more flexible to share on GitHub/Bitbucket public/private repos that need revision control, and store the compiled files in other services, such as papers on research gate or semantic scholar, videos via YouTube/Vimeo, etc.

With this setup, the co-authors can edit the research together, and I have less to worry about server management.

August 23, 2017

Revision control based on lines vs operations

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:52 am
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I cannot believe I have not (really) noticed this earlier, but the current git/svn revision controls are based on simple line differences, without taking into account the actual editing operations which we actually did in SIGGRAPH 2011 for image editing.

As a very simple example, say a file contains an original line like this:

I love you. Do you love me?

User 1 breaks the line into two:

I love you.
Do you love me?

User 2 adds one word the line:

I love you. Do you love me too?

A revision control tool that considers editing operations can automatically merge the two edits:

I love you.
Do you love me too?

While the current svn/git tools, based on line differences, will simply give up and ask users for manual intervention.

August 16, 2017

Publishing two papers out of one submission

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:09 pm
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Co-authors and I submitted a paper with two main parts to X, a top venue in our field.
The reviews said the first part is good contribution but the second part is basically nothing, and rejected our paper.

We then revised the paper and submitted to Y, another top venue in our field.
The reviews said the exact opposite from X, but accepted our paper conditional upon the removal the first part.

So we split the paper, with the second part to Y and the first part to (the next round of) X.

😀

July 27, 2017

HPRT and CVML

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:06 am
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Looking at the paper titles for HPG 2017, I wonder if it can be renamed to HPRT (similar to how CVPR can be renamed to CVML).

When we have real-time ray tracing on mobile devices (the day will come), all the legacy graphics algorithms (i.e. tricks) will become obsolete.
I believe real-time RT, instead of machine learning, will be the end of traditional rendering tricks.

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