Below are suggestions for structuring and writing your paper that are likely to be appreciated by the reviewers. We hope that this will help you satisfy the evaluation criteria of the conference. Note that these are not mandatory rules.
Structure of the paper. It is usually a good idea to
- clearly formulate, explain and motivate in the introduction the research problem, together with a short paragraph titled “Contributions of the paper”, in which you briefly summarize the innovative technical contributions of the paper.
- have a “Related work” section that shows why the addressed problem has not been completely solved before, underlines the key differences between the proposed approach and those that have been published previously (including prior work of your own), and makes clear where you have built on existing results.
- spend a paragraph or even a section called “System model” (or something similar) on presenting the system model, describing accurately notation and nomenclature, and discussing the assumptions and limitations of your model.
- present mathematical proofs of correctness if your paper contains theoretical work.
- add an “Experimental evaluation” and/or “Case study” section to provide evidence of scientific advancement if the paper contains new algorithms, system design or methodology, or applications that improve on existing state-of-the art (or even regarding a completely new field).
- add a short paragraph in the conclusions to briefly summarize the main innovative technical contributions of the paper.
Notations. Make sure that any notation used is clearly defined and distinct (do not use symbols that can easily be confused with one another). The best place to define terminology and notation is together with the description of the system model. This gives reviewers a single place to refer back to where they can find any symbols they need to look up again. If you have a large amount of notation in your paper, consider providing a table of notation. Make sure you define all notation and acronyms before they are used.
Figures. Make sure that all of your figures, diagrams and graphs are legible when printed out in black and white. Avoid the temptation to make your figures the size of a postage stamp or thumb nail in order to fit your content into the page limits and make sure all text is legible and not too small. Ensure the different lines on the graphs are clearly distinguishable by using markers that are obviously different and where necessary using different line types (e.g. dashed, dotted).
Experiments. A reader of your paper should be able to reproduce your experiments and obtain the same results. Hence, it is necessary to describe the experimental setup, including details of case study or benchmark data (or where it can be obtained) and how synthetic data (if used) has been generated. If you are reporting statistical data, then make sure you present measures pertaining to the quality of the results obtained, for example confidence intervals, or variance. To aid in the reproducibility of results, consider also making your evaluation code available.
Acknowledgments. These instructions as well as some descriptions of our evaluation criteria originate in a list of FAQs started by Giuseppe Lipari for ECRTS’06 with contributions by many others since. The document has been heavily edited this year to separate between suggestions and requirements.