Sunday, June 04, 2006

SCIgen -- An Automatic CS Paper Generator

SCIgen is a program that generates random Computer Science research papers, including graphs, figures, and citations. It uses a hand-written context-free grammar to form all elements of the papers. Our aim here is to maximize amusement, rather than coherence.

One useful purpose for such a program is to auto-generate submissions to conferences that you suspect might have very low submission standards. A prime example, which you may recognize from spam in your inbox, is SCI/IIIS and its dozens of co-located conferences (check out the very broad conference description on the WMSCI 2005 website). There's also a list of known bogus conferences. Using SCIgen to generate submissions for conferences like this gives us pleasure to no end. In fact, one of our papers was accepted to SCI 2005! See Examples for more details.

Taken from SCIgen's official website.

In short, this little baby, written by three MIT students, generates garbage (and I really mean: absolute garbage) randomly and presents them in the format of a scientific paper. At first glance, the document would look like an authentic paper, but on careful reading, one would not make any sense out of it. No wonder the WMSCI people were fooled.

Do watch the video of the authors making impromptu presentations on their random garbage papers. Really funny.

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