ICFP'09: Call for papers

Call for Papers
ICFP 2009: International Conference on Functional Programming
Edinburgh, Scotland, 31 August - 2 September 2009

The submission page is now closed

ICFP 2009 seeks original papers on the art and science of functional programming. Submissions are invited on all topics from principles to practice, from foundations to features, from abstraction to application. The scope includes all languages that encourage functional programming, including both purely applicative and imperative languages, as well as languages with objects or concurrency. Particular topics of interest include

The conference also solicits Experience Reports, which are short papers that provide evidence that functional programming really works or describe obstacles that have kept it from working in a particular application.

What's different this year?

The conference dates and the submission deadline are about one month earlier than usual.

Instructions for authors

By Monday, 2 March 2009, 20:00 UTC, submit an abstract of at most 300 words and a full paper of at most 12 pages (4 pages for an Experience Report), including bibliography and figures. The deadline will be strictly enforced and papers exceeding the page limits will be summarily rejected. Authors have the option to attach a separate file of supplementary material to a submission, on the understanding that reviewers may choose not to look at it.

A submission will be evaluated according to its relevance, correctness, significance, originality, and clarity. It should explain its contributions in both general and technical terms, clearly identifying what has been accomplished, explaining why it is significant, and comparing it with previous work. The technical content should be accessible to a broad audience. Functional Pearls and Experience Reports are separate categories of papers that need not report original research results and must be marked as such at the time of submission. Detailed guidelines on both categories are below.

Each submission must adhere to SIGPLAN's republication policy, as explained on the web. Violation risks summary rejection of the offending submission.

Proceedings will be published by ACM Press. Authors of accepted submissions are expected to transfer the copyright to ACM. Presentations will be videotaped and released online if the presenter consents by signing an additional permission form at the time of the presentation. Released videos will be included along with the conference proceedings in the ACM Digital Library and may also be placed on a host such as YouTube or Google Video.


Submissions must be in PDF format printable in black and white on US Letter sized paper and interpretable by Ghostscript. If this requirement is a hardship, make contact with the program chair at least one week before the deadline. ICFP proceedings are printed in black and white. It is permissible to include color in a submission, but you risk annoying reviewers who will have to decide if your final paper will be understandable without it. Papers must adhere to the standard ACM conference format: two columns, nine-point font on a ten-point baseline, with columns 20pc (3.33in) wide and 54pc (9in) tall, with a column gutter of 2pc (0.33in). Suitable document templates for LaTeX and Word are available from SIGPLAN.


Electronically at https://www.softconf.com/a/icfp09. The deadline is set in Coordinated Universal Time. The world clock can give you the equivalent in your local time, e.g., Noon Monday in Seattle, 3:00 PM Monday in New York, 8:00 PM Monday in London, 5:00 AM Tuesday in Tokyo.


We recommend (but do not require) that you put your citations into author-date form. This procedure makes your paper easier to review. For example, if you cite a result on testing as ``(Claessen and Hughes 2000)'', many reviewers will recognize the result instantly. On the other hand, if you cite it as ``[4]'', even the best-informed reviewer has to page through your paper to find the reference. By using author-date form, you enable a knowledgeable reviewer to focus on content, not arbitrary numbering of references. LaTeX users can simply use the natbib package along with the plainnat bibliography style.

In practice, this means putting

in your LaTeX preamble, and
in your document. For most citations you will use the \cite command; if you want a citation like ``Claessen and Hughes (2000) showed that...'' you should use something like ``\citet{claessen:quickcheck} showed...''

Alternatively, the McBride bibliography style, which adheres to the Chicago manual of style ``Documentation Two'' specifications and which fixes some perceived deficiencies of natbib, may be used. The style file along with instructions for using it is available on the McBride web site.

Author response:

Authors will have a 48-hour period, starting at 20:00 UTC on 21 April 2009, to read and respond to reviews.

Special categories of papers

In addition to research papers, ICFP solicits two kinds of papers that do not require original research contributions: Functional Pearls, which are full papers, and Experience Reports, which are limited to four pages. Authors submitting such papers may wish to consider the following advice.

Functional Pearls

A Functional Pearl is an elegant essay about something related to functional programming. It might offer:

Functional Pearls are not restricted to the above varieties, however. While pearls often demonstrate an idea through the development of a short program, there is no requirement or expectation that they do so. Thus, they encompass the notions of theoretical and educational pearls.

Functional Pearls are valued as highly and judged as rigorously as ordinary papers, but using somewhat different criteria. In particular, a pearl is not required to report original research. However, it should be concise, instructive, and entertaining. Your pearl is likely to be rejected if your readers get bored, if the material gets too complicated, if too much specialized knowledge is needed, or if the writing is inelegant. The key to writing a good pearl is polishing.

A submission you wish to have treated as a pearl must be marked as such on the submission web page, and should contain the words ``Functional Pearl'' somewhere in its title or subtitle. These steps will alert reviewers to use the appropriate evaluation criteria. However, pearls will be combined with ordinary papers for the purpose of computing the conference's acceptance rate.

Experience Reports

The purpose of an Experience Report is to help create a body of published, refereed, citable evidence that functional programming really works---or to describe what obstacles prevent it from working.

Possible topics for an Experience Report include, but are not limited to:

An Experience Report is distinguished from a normal ICFP paper by its title, by its length, and by the criteria used to evaluate it.

An Experience Report should be short and to the point: make a claim about how well functional programming worked on your project and why, and produce evidence to substantiate your claim. If functional programming worked for you in the same ways it has worked for others, you need only to summarize the results---the main part of your paper should discuss how well it worked and in what context. Most readers will not want to know all the details of your project and its implementation, but please characterize your project and its context well enough so that readers can judge to what degree your experience is relevant to their own projects. Be especially careful to highlight any unusual aspects of your project. Also keep in mind that specifics about your project are more valuable than generalities about functional programming; for example, it is more valuable to say that your team delivered its software a month ahead of schedule than it is to say that functional programming made your team more productive.

If your paper not only describes experience but also presents new technical results, or if your experience refutes cherished beliefs of the functional-programming community, you may be better off submitting it as a full paper, which will be judged by the usual criteria of novelty, originality, and relevance. If you are unsure in which category to submit, the program chair will be happy to help you decide.

Other information

Conference Chair

Graham Hutton (University of Nottingham)

Program Chair

Andrew Tolmach
Department of Computer Science
Portland State University
P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207 USA
Email: apt@cs.pdx.edu
Phone: +1 503 725 5492
Fax: +1 503 725 3211

Mail sent to the address above is filtered for spam. If you send mail and do not receive a prompt response, particularly if the deadline is looming, feel free to telephone.

Program Committee

Amal Ahmed (Toyota Technological Institute, Chicago)
Maria Alpuente (Technical University of Valencia (UPV))
Lennart Augustsson (Standard Chartered Bank)
Lars Birkedal (IT University of Copenhagen)
Manuel Chakravarty (University of New South Wales)
Koen Claessen (Chalmers University of Technology)
Marc Feeley (Université de Montréal)
Andrzej Filinski (University of Copenhagen)
Daan Leijen (Microsoft Research)
Xavier Leroy (INRIA Paris-Rocquencourt)
Conor McBride (University of Strathclyde)
Matthew Might (University of Utah)
Shin-Cheng Mu (Academia Sinica)
Atsushi Ohori (Tohoku University)
Kristoffer Rose (IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center)

Important Dates (at 20:00 UTC)

Submission:2 March 2009
Author response:21-23 April 2009
Notification:5 May 2009
Final papers due:8 June 2009

ICFP 2009 Web Site


Special Journal Issue

There will be a special issue of the Journal of Functional Programming with papers from ICFP 2009. The program committee will invite the authors of select accepted papers to submit a journal version to this issue.