Prank Research Papers

Sometimes jargon really is gibberish.

Take the “scientific” papers generated by a computer program and submitted by three MIT computer science students to a scientific conference. One of the papers, “Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy,” was accepted by World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics 2005 as a non-reviewed paper. “The Influence of Probabilistic Methodologies on Networking” was rejected.

Graduate students Jeremy Stribling, Max Krohn and Dan Aguayo had doubts about the standards of some conference organizers, who they say “spam people with e-mail.”

“We were tired of getting these e-mails from these conference people, so we thought it would be fun to write software that generates meaningless research papers and submit them,” said Stribling. All three of the students are doing research in the Parallel and Distributed Operating Systems Group at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT.

The paper’s acceptance proves their point, Stribling said. Their computer program generates research papers using “context-free grammar” and includes graphs, figures and citations. The program takes real words and places them correctly in sentences, but the words used don’t make sense together…

Source: Prank research paper makes the grade

Here’s the group’s website: http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/, including links to the two papers that they submitted to the WMSCI 2005. Their first computer-generated paper, Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy, was actually accepted. Their second submission, The Influence of Probabilistic Methodologies on Networking, was rejected for some reason. I don’t understand a lot of the titles of the real papers that are presented at these computer science conferences so these seemed to fit right in.

The grad students raised enough money to attend and present their paper at the conference. They were actually going to have their program generate a Powerpoint presentation for their talk. Unfortunately, the conference heard about this plan and rejected the paper. So, they decided to hold their own “technical” session in the very same hotel that the WMSCI used for its conference. The (randomly-generated) title of the session was The 6th Annual North American Symposium on Methodologies, Theory, and Information. The grad students presented three randomly-generated computer science papers using randomly-generated Powerpoint presentations that they had not seen prior to standing up and presenting it. The resulting talks were pretty hilarious and are available to watch as a video called Near Science. The website is a little old, but the first high quality AVI still works.

Here’s a SCIgen created computer science paper that my brother and I “wrote”: NAWL: A Methodology for the Visualization of Consistent Hashing

One thought on “Prank Research Papers

  1. ross

    Haha, we wrote a pretty good paper. I like the part at the beginning where we argue that our approach is impossible. Very honest, but not necessarily the kind of thing that will help getting our paper published. Overall, though, it’s quite promising.

    completely unrelated–that SCIgen thing is pretty cool!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge