SCIgen - An Automatic CS Paper Generator

About

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.

We went to WMSCI 2005. Check out the talks and video. You can find more details in our blog.

Generate a Random Paper

Want to generate a random CS paper of your own? Type in some optional author names below, and click "Generate".






SCIgen currently supports Latin-1 characters, but not the full Unicode character set.

Examples

Here are two papers we submitted to WMSCI 2005:

Talks

Thanks to the generous donations of 165 people, we went to WMSCI 2005 in Orlando and held our own "technical" session in the same hotel. The (randomly-generated) title of the session was The 6th Annual North American Symposium on Methodologies, Theory, and Information. The session included three randomly-generated talks:

As promised, we videotaped the whole thing. You can download the resulting movie, titled Near Science, below. Movie length: 13:15.

Trouble playing the AVI? Try downloading a DivX codec for Windows or Mac, or try the open source VideoLAN player.

You can read more about the trip here, and check out some pictures here.

Many thanks to everyone who made this possible, especially Tadd Torborg and family, Open Clipart, the PDOS research group, and of course all the SCIgen donors.

Code

The code for SCIgen is released under GPL, and is currently available via anonymous CVS.


% cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@scigen.csail.mit.edu:/var/cvs login 
Logging in to :pserver:anoncvs@scigen.csail.mit.edu:2401/var/cvs
CVS password: _press return_
% cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@scigen.csail.mit.edu:/var/cvs co -P scigen

We're still working on documentation and making it more user-friendly, but you should be able to figure most of it out from the code. Here's what you need on your computer to run it (we've run it on FreeBSD and GNU/Linux platforms):

If you would like to contribute code to this project (i.e., by helping us expand our context-free grammar with more sentences, nouns, etc.), please contact us with any patches and we'll apply them if they seem reasonable. We hope to set up a better system sometime in the near future.

Running the code. We've been getting a lot of questions about how to run the code. There are quite a few misleading files in the source -- sorry about that. All you need to do to generate a paper is to run make-latex.pl (also look at make-latex.pl --help). You can also use scigen.pl to generate any arbitrary starting target. See scirules.in for most of the grammar rules.

Donations

As indicated above, one of our generated papers got accepted to WMSCI 2005. Our plan was to go there and give a completely randomly-generated talk, delivered entirely with a straight face. However, this is very expensive for grad students such as ourselves. So, we asked visitors to this site to make small donations toward this dream of ours; the response was overwhelming.

Amount of donations: $2401.43 (after PayPal fees)
Number of donations: 165
Amount of time: 72 hours

We used this money to hold our own session at the same hotel as WMSCI 2005.

Related Work

Other papers: Other generators: Other SCIgen successes:

People

We are graduate students in the PDOS research group at MIT CSAIL.

Contact us at this email address: scigen-dev at the domain pdos.csail.mit.edu
Jeffrey Hargrave