All of ICLR 2020 will be accessed through the main webpage. You can access all parts of the conference using the top menu bar. New content is released daily, so check the Schedule for new videos that are released, and when the live sessions for speaker Q&A and posters are taking place. You can navigate all the papers in the Papers section: you can search for keywords and authors, looking through all papers by skimming titles, or using the visualization tab at the top. We encourage everyone to visit the sponsor hall just like you would at the physical conference and then to participate in as many socials and using the chat tool. If you need any help you can ask one of the on-call helpers on the chat channel.
There is a calendar (ics file) that you can import into your calendar tool that will tell you when live sessions are being held each day. You should explore the papers using the Schedule or Papers tab. We think the easiest approach is to create a set of bookmarks of the webpages for papers you want to watch the video of and discuss live during one of the sessions. Another option is the simple text file: create a document consisting of links, organized under the dates and times. In the future, we hope to have a better strategy to organize your engagement; the short notice for going virtual means we need to opt for some simpler strategies.
Participants and authors are spread out across the world. This is by far the trickiest aspect for virtual ICLR. Most of us are not used to navigating across timezones. The calendar displayed on the website is shown in your local time, and the Google Calendar with all the events is public and can be copied to your personal calendar.
Here are some hypothetical interactions from hypothetical people across timezones:
On Day 1, April 27, all videos for that day are released at the start of the day (GMT+12). This includes the pre-recorded PC welcome, two invited talks and the 5 or 15 minute videos for the papers in the poster sessions for that day.
A participant Maryam from Syndey (GMT+11) decides she would like to join two poster sessions, one at 5 am GMT and one at 8 am GMT (4 pm and 7 pm her time). Earlier in the day, at 10am, she starts by watching both invited talks and posting questions on RocketChat. At noon, she visits a few booths: one on a discussion about optimization, and another for AwesomeCo since she is interested in an internship. At 4 pm, she joins the 2h poster session, browsing posters and joining the Zoom link for posters to listen & ask questions. InvitedSpeaker1 lives in Kenya and has a live Q&A at 5pm Kenyan-time (2 pm GMT). Invited Speaker2 lives in NYC and has a live Q&A at 3 pm his time (7 pm GMT). These happen while Maryam is sleeping, she will watch these recorded Q&A on April 28.
Meanwhile, Marek from Lagos is waking up (GMT+1). He has planned to join the live Q&A for both speakers, and the poster session at 12 GMT (1 pm his time). Then he is going to go to a social being held on RL in the evening, at 5 pm. He starts the day, at 9am, by watching the first invited talk, and writing down a few questions. He then watches a 1-hour oral/spotlight session on RL, with two 15-minute orals and several spotlights. He finds this by clicking on the sessions, which can be watched at anytime that day. He joins the live Q&A with InvitedSpeaker1, at 3 pm, and Raises his Hand on Zoom to ask a question (and is then called on to ask, with his audio unmuted). He then watches the second invited talk, and Thumbs Ups a question that was asked by another participant on RocketChat. That live Q&A happens at 8 pm, but he cannot join in the evening. He watches the recorded Q&A the next day, and the question he upvoted was asked and answered.
Linli from Seattle is waking up. They marked 10 papers they would really like to investigate deeply. They start by watching all the videos for those papers (9 of them have 5-minute videos, 1 is an oral that is 15 minutes). They also watch three other videos from the set of papers recommended for them. They join two poster sessions, at 5 pm GMT and 8 pm GMT (10 am and 1 pm their time). Fortunately, 8 of the 13 papers they watched videos for are in these poster sessions, and they can chat with the authors. They know the live Q&As happen at 2 pm and 7 pm GMT, which is 7 am and noon in their time. They decided to watch both videos the day before (on Monday), and post a question on RocketChat about each. They tune in to the second live Q&A, at noon right after the first poster session they attended and right before the second one.
Throughout, Participants have discussions (asynchronously) on RocketChat and can post written questions for the authors on the channel for their paper. Authors pop in and write answers to questions for their paper.
The website uses three external tools, Rocket.Chat, Zoom and 6Connex. Logins for rocket.chat were created on registration. For other tools you can create them the first time you use the tool. For more details on specific tools, see answers to related questions below. You will not need to download any special software other than a web browser.
You will need an account for Rocket.Chat, which is the text-chat tool that is embedded throughout the site. This would have been created for you on registration. If you registered after this was done, you can request a new one, which will be approved as soon as we can. You can also use this backup invite link https://iclr.rocket.chat/register/J5aqNDEumaRLKP67d to self-register using the web version of Rocket.Chat. Please use the email address you used to register for the conference.
Zoom is used for all video sessions, which you can watch using the Zoom app or within the browser. Clicking on the link will ask you to open the video in the Zoom app. If you want to use Zoom in the browser, simply wait a few seconds after clicking the Video link and it will open a browser-based session.
Clicking the Sponsor Hall menu opens a new tab to our sponsor area using a provider called 6connex, which will provide a better experience with which to engage with sponsors. When you click on the Sponsor Hall menu, you will first need to register your email address to access the sponsor site- you only need to provide an email, and do this once. Once in the sponsor site, you can click any of the logos of the sponsors and then visit their virtual booths that have information about their work and find other details about live interaction with them.
The socials are one way to interact and discuss with others. We will also allow participants to make channels on RocketChat. You can create a channel about a topic, and post it to a general channel, so that others who are interested in discussing can join the channel. You can also private message individuals; but please be advised to be careful about harassment and follow the Code of Conduct (https://iclr.cc/public/CodeOfConduct).
The Poster Sessions, Q&A with Invited Speakers, Virtual Socials, and Sponsors Booth are live. These live sessions occur at specific times, so make sure you look at the Calendar to see what is live right now (see Schedule in menu). You can also use this Calendar to add sessions that you are interested in, to your own personal calendar.
Each paper will appear in two different poster sessions. Each paper has two associated Zoom links, one for each poster session. You can only talk to the authors during these live poster sessions. On the page for that paper, you can click the Zoom link for the currently active poster session, and you will join the Zoom session. Please `Raise Your Hand’ to indicate that you would like to ask the author questions. This will put you in a queue, so that the author can keep track of who wants to ask a question next. We also recommend that you watch the video for the poster first, which replaces the typical poster spiel. We want to remind you to be respectful during these conversations (see https://iclr.cc/public/CodeOfConduct).
If an author does not show up for their poster video session, then there is no host for the Zoom link. All non-author participants are put in the waiting room until one of the authors opens the 'start' link. If this happens, please notify #helpdesk.
Each invited speaker has a RocketChat channel. Questions for the invited speaker can be posted there. Other participants that are also interested in the question can Thumbs Up the post, to increase the visibility of particular questions.
The live Q&As will allow for 300 participants. The Zoom webinar allows for questions to be typed. In most cases, especially if there are many questions, the session chair will simply read out the question, for simplicity. However, this is up to the session chair, and in some cases they will allow you to ask a question.
There will be a wide variety of Socials this year including: mini-topic focused meetings with invited talks, informal debates, events promoting diversity and inclusion, meetings about challenges faced by the ML and AI community, social get-togethers for like minded people, and many more.
All participants are bound and expected to uphold the conference’s Code of Conduct, which can be found online at https://iclr.cc/public/CodeOfConduct. We have taken several steps to safeguard against `Zoom Bombing` by changing the permissions, types of calls we use, and having moderators with ability to evict participants, amongst others. For text chat, the authors, Workshop organisers, or Social organisers are leaders of their chat and can take steps to prevent trolling, and ensure meaningful conversation. Individual chat entries can be reported as well within the Rocket.Chat tool.
Please contact iclrhotline-at- gmail.com, where your report will be addressed by our independent consultant who will handle it in an unbiased manner. The conference’s Code of Conduct, which can be found online at https://iclr.cc/public/CodeOfConduct.
We have selected technologies we rely on to run the fully virtual ICLR carefully in order to maximize its reachability. More specifically, we have used our large pool of volunteers from all over the world to check the accessibility of all four services, including Zoom, Slideslive, Rocket.Chat and ICLR Web Portal. From these tests, we have confirmed that these services largely work from any country across the globe, but as we are too well aware, the service status in each country may change overnight. If you have having difficulty accessing any of these services, please report it to us at #helpdesk channel.
As an author on the paper, you will be a host on the Zoom link. When you join, it will start the meeting and it will allow others to join. Please join the link 5 minutes early, to be ready to start the session on time. We ask that you pay attention to Raised Hands, and try to discuss with people in the order that they raised their hand. This way they have a rough estimate of how long they might have to wait, and makes for respectful interaction. If someone is monopolizing your time, and you notice many hands are raised, do feel free to say ‘Unfortunately, I have to give some of the other participants an opportunity to ask questions as well’.
As a host, you have additional privileges. If someone is being disruptive, or not muting themselves when needed, you can mute them. If someone is being inappropriate and violating the code of conduct, you can eject them from the meeting. If you would like to make an author a co-host, you can do so. Additionally, only hosts can share their screens. You might find it useful to simply keep your screen shared the entire time, so that you can refer to figures in your slides.
All conference content is restricted to conference attendees are not meant to be shared. We have changed all the defaults for Zoom to prevent disruption to video sessions.This involves changing several settings for greater control, including host-only screen sharing, disabling joining a session before a host, disabling file transfer, and disallowing removed participants to rejoin a video call. Also see answer to question on `How do you ensure safe online engagement?’
Each author was given the chance to sign up, on iclr.cc, for two timezones. If you did not fill in the form, we allocated you to remaining sessions. In some cases, authors may have to present outside typical working hours; this is not ideal, but is difficult to avoid for a global virtual conference. We know we are asking a lot of you, and really appreciate your understanding. If you cannot present your poster, you could try to find another author to present the work. If there is absolutely no way for you to present your work (we know childcare is an issue right now), please reach out to us at email@example.com.
If you can’t find your paper because of difficulty navigating the website, please contact the help desk at #helpdesk on Rocket.Chat (click on Tech Support on the top of this page). If you still can’t find a resolution, then the likely issue is that your email address for your paper on OpenReview is not associated with your ICLR account. Contact the organisers at iclr2020-virtual-at-googlegroups.com