SIAM News Blog

Reflecting on the First SIAG/ACDA Workshop

By Alex Conway, Henning Meyerhenke, and Bora Uçar

The SIAM Activity Group on Applied and Computational Discrete Algorithms (SIAG/ACDA), which was founded in 2019, held its first workshop in Aussois among the beautiful French Alps from September 5-9, 2022. This workshop followed last year’s successful SIAM Conference on Applied and Computational Discrete Algorithms, which took place virtually in July 2021; for most of the 60 participants, it was one of their first international in-person meetings since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SIAG/ACDA workshop featured 32 high-quality research presentations from academia, national laboratories, and industry, all of which reflected ACDA’s broad scope and focus on cross-community interactions. The sessions highlighted theoretical results in the context of algorithms and data structures, as well as more applied algorithm engineering aspects and a wide range of real-world scenarios that require combinatorial solution methods. Such applications include scientific computing, machine learning, optimization/mathematical programming, data centers and storage systems, accountability in distributed systems, bioinformatics, and even wildlife tracking.

As with other SIAM events, coffee breaks and mealtimes provided ample opportunities for participants to connect and network with one another. Several hikes throughout the week served the same purpose, leading one participant to suggest a new “workshop performance measure” of “miles hiked per talk.” Late-night work and socialization continued at the bar and patio, which overlooked breathtaking mountain peaks.

The organizing committee comprised Michael A. Bender, Aydin Buluç, and Bora Uçar, with help from current and former SIAG/ACDA officers, including Henning Meyerhenke, Uwe Naumann, Cynthia Philips, Alex Pothen, and Blair Sullivan. Le Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies du numérique (Inria), and École normale supérieure (ENS) de Lyon all supported the workshop.

SIAG/ACDA fosters activity and collaboration surrounding the computational solution of combinatorial problems that arise in real-world applications. The SIAG seeks to promote the formulation of computational problems in terms of combinatorial models; design, analysis, and implementation of algorithms on these models; and deployment of the algorithms in software. It therefore strives to unite mathematicians; computer scientists; statisticians; scientists; and engineers from academia, the national research laboratories, and industry. SIAG/ACDA is a growing community and will hold its next conference from May 31-June 2, 2023, in Seattle, Wash. The meeting will be co-located with the 2023 SIAM Conference on Optimization. We invite all interested SIAM members to join the group, attend the conference, and get involved in the exciting field of applied and computational discrete algorithms.

Alex Conway is a researcher at VMware Research Group whose research interests include storage systems and external memory data structures. He is a co-creator and research lead of SplinterDB.  
  Henning Meyerhenke is a professor of computer science at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; he previously held positions at the University of Cologne and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. His main research interests concern scalable algorithms for large and complex networked systems, particularly for algorithmic network analysis and combinatorial scientific computing.  
Bora Uçar is a senior research scientist at the French National Centre for Scientific Research who works in the Laboratoire de l’Informatique du Parallélisme at the École normale supérieure de Lyon. His research interests include combinatorial scientific computing and high-performance computing. 
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