Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Simson Garfinkel

A View from Simson Garfinkel

Two Very Funny Fake Papers

About once a month I get an invitation by email to submit to conferences like the World Multi_Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics.Well, I’m not the only person who has been getting them. Jeremy Stribling (a grad student at MIT)…

  • April 11, 2005

About once a month I get an invitation by email to submit to conferences like the World Multi_Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics.

Well, I’m not the only person who has been getting them. Jeremy Stribling (a grad student at MIT) was so sick of getting these invitations to submit that he wrote a fake research paper generator (using statistical models), he submitted the program’s results to the conference, and it was accepted!

No kidding!

The papers are very clever—far more clever than I could have possibly written.

The steve paper has really weird graphs in it. Complexity measured in Joules. Bandwidth measured in # of nodes. (And fractional nodes, down to 0.1.) Hit ratio measured in teraflops.

The rooter paper has similar weird stuff.

This happened a few years ago at the Modern Language Association, where a hack paper was submitted with so much pseudo-intellectual rubbish in it that the conference committees let it through. They just didn’t know what they were up against.

But this is the first time that I’ve heard of a randomly-generated paper getting accepted at a conference.

I’d love to see the code to the generator. Now that would be an interesting paper.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Bimonthly print magazine (6 issues per year)

    Bimonthly digital/PDF edition

    Access to the magazine PDF archive—thousands of articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips

    Special interest publications

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Special discounts to select partner offerings

    Ad-free web experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Bimonthly print magazine (6 issues per year)

  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.