Anand Raghunathan
Research Special Sessions Chair



Alexis Bauer Kolak
Education Director

Special/Invited Session Proposals

Submission Format | Timeline | Review Process | Proceedings Manuscript | CopyrightFrequently Asked Questions | Categories

DAC seeks proposals for the Research Track Special Sessions, as well as the Engineering Tracks - Back-End Design, Front-End Design, Embedded Systems and IP. These sessions intend to highlight timely, visionary and emerging topics for the respective audience.

  • Information for Research Track Special Sessions is below.
  • For more information for Engineering Tracks Invited Sessions, reach out to the specific Track Chair (in the Contact Information section of this page)

Special Sessions (Research Track): Special sessions are broad-interest sessions within the technical conference program like EDA, embedded systems, Cloud Computing, security, hardware/software design, machine learning and future interest areas etc. A key aspect of special sessions is that they should be broad interest, timely and informative, while not overlapping with the content of traditional research manuscripts. Accepted Special Sessions have the option of contributing papers or extended abstracts to be published in the DAC Proceedings.

Submission Format

All Research Special Session suggestions should be submitted via the DAC website and include the required information indicated below.

  • Session Title: The title will be published in the conference program
  • Event Abstract: Provide an abstract of no more than 150 words for the conference program. The abstract should be worded so as to attract the attendees to the session as well as provide their key contributions
  • Topic Areas: Select one or two topic areas from the dropdown menu.
  • Keywords: Select up to three keywords from the dropdown menu.
  • Event contributors: Provide name, address, and full contact information of organizer(s) and proposed session chair.
  • Presentation/manuscript titles: Manuscript titles and presentation titles are one and the same; all presentation titles MUST match the title of the manuscript submitted for the DAC Proceedings.
  • Co-Authors: Please provide names, affiliations and contact information for each co-author
  • Short abstract of each paper/talk: Please provide an abstract of 150 words or less that describes each proposed paper/presentation.
  • Additional details: Please provide the following information in this section 
  1. Proposed length of the session: 90 or 120 minutes
  2. Structure for the session: What is your preferred structure (talks + panel, tutorial + talks, only talks) and why
  3. Intended audience: Subject area and level of expertise. Please also indicate the focus of the session: (technical, business or mixed).
  4. Viewpoints and session balances: How does the session holistically cover the viewpoints or the main sub-areas in the session topic? What is the balance between vendors and users, technologists and methodologists, academics and industry, various competing technology solutions, etc.?
  5. Presenters qualifications: For each presenter, please provide a brief bio and her/his qualifications relevant to the topics of the special session
  6. Additional information: If you have any other supporting information relevant to the proposal, you may include them here.

IMPORTANT: Do not submit your special session proposal until you have confirmed the participation of the proposed chair and speakers. Do not wait to find out if the special session has been accepted before obtaining confirmation.

Preparing Your Special Session Proposal:

There are a number of things to consider in a special session proposal:

  • Focus – Technical or business? The majority of special sessions have a technical focus, which is appropriate, as they are part of the technical program. Sometimes they have a mixed focus, but a business-only special session would likely be better as a panel or part of a special DAC “management track.”
  • Premise and Motivation – Consider why a special session is appropriate and what the overall theme is meant to convey. What is the key issue? Why have it at DAC, and why in this year? (i.e., what makes it timely?) Why the special session format?
  • Topic and Speakers – There are only a few special sessions in each DAC, and the topic should be of significant importance to the technical audience at this time. The speakers need to convey compelling information about the topic, and it must be of high value to the attendees.
  • Speakers and Structure – Who are the invited speakers? What are the title, the length and the topic of each talk? Speakers should be confirmed in advance before making the proposal. They should know and agree with the theme of the session. Each speaker will have the opportunity to submit an invited manuscript for the proceedings. The manuscript will be reviewed by the Special Session Chair, DAC Special Focus Committee, the session organizer and the session chair. If each speaker in a session would like to collaborate and only produce one manuscript for the proceedings covering the entire session, that is acceptable, as well. What ties the speakers together into the overall theme, and what is the order of the talks? A special session may have an interesting thematic structure – for example, the first talk may give a mini-tutorial overview of a problem; the next talks may give various solutions to that problem. (See below for more suggestions on the structure)
  • Chair – The chair of a special session and the organizer(s) can be different. The chair will have to be present at the session, while organizer participation is not mandatory.
  • Constraints: – No organization may be associated with both the chair and speaker roles. That is, the designated chair must be affiliated with a different organization than all the speakers. It is possible, but not preferable, for an individual to be both an organizer and a speaker in the session. A person cannot be a co-author in more than one paper per special session. A complete list of co-authors per paper must be given at the time of special session submission. Adding co-authors after acceptance of the special session is not allowed. It must be clearly denoted whether the manuscript (in identical or modified version) has been submitted to any other event before.

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  • October 1 to November 22: Call for Contributions site is OPEN.
  • March 1: Accept/Reject notifications will be sent out 
  • March 10: Draft papers due to Special Sessions Chair
  • March 23: Speakers will receive final paper submission details and instructions.
  • March 23: Authors will receive instructions to complete and submit copyright forms
  • April 14: Accepted papers must submit copyright forms.
  • April 14: Final manuscript is DUE to the proceedings publisher by 5:00pm PT (-08:00 GMT).
  • April 19: Speakers will receive instructions for preparation and submission of presentation slides and video presentations
  • April 29: Speaker registration deadline
  • May 15: Speaker bio and draft slides due for review by subcommittee chairs.
  • May 22: Subcommittee chairs provide feedback to speakers regarding their draft slides.
  • June 1: Final presentation slides and video presentations are due for the DAC Archives.
  • July 10: The Design Automation Conference begins! 

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Review Process & Selection

Each submission will be evaluated by the organizing committee, who may refine the proposals and the slate of speakers to better fit the conference program. The committee will strive as much as possible to involve the proposers of promising Special Session submissions in finalizing them for inclusion in the program. Proposers of accepted Special Sessions will be acknowledged in the DAC program (online and in print) and in the DAC proceedings.

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Proceedings Manuscript

Note that accepted special sessions in the Research Track provide the opportunity for the speakers to prepare a collective manuscript for the session, or for each speaker to provide an individual manuscript. All special session manuscripts will undergo a technical review. Sessions in the Designer Track or IP Track cannot provide any manuscript to be included in the DAC proceedings.

  • Once accepted into the DAC program, each speaker can submit a manuscript (up to a maximum of 4 pages) for the DAC conference proceedings. It is also possible for all the speakers in a session to submit a joint manuscript for the proceedings. Invited papers are required to include the word “Invited” as a prefix to the title.
  • The session organizer and/or chair should not be a co-author of the paper(s). Speakers should be luminaries in the field, and that places them in a different position. Organizers have a lot of control in the shape of the sessions, and cannot be directly involved in a possible paper.
  • In the acceptance letter, guidelines will be provided for paper templates, ACM copyright form instructions and registration details.
  • All accepted presentations are expected to submit a video of their presentation in advance of the event. This does not replace participation in the event.
  • ACM holds the copyright for the DAC 2022 proceedings.
  • Each proceedings paper should be reviewed by the organizer and session chair before the final paper submission deadline of April 14, 2022. This is a firm deadline.

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Copyright Information

One author of each accepted paper that is submitted to DAC for publication in the official conference proceedings is required by ACM to sign a copyright form. Please note that paper copyright forms are no longer accepted and ACM does not accept any addendum to their forms.

  • Copyright information can be found here. These copyright samples are for your information only. Authors will be required to complete an electronic version of one of these forms through the ACM submission system if their paper is accepted.
  • ACM’s Publishing Policy can be found here and the Author Rights page can be found here.
  • Any issues/questions authors have regarding the copyright form or ACM Policy may be addressed to ACM.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a DAC Special Session?

DAC special sessions are part of the technical program and occupy a time slot of either 1.5 or 2 hours. Each special session has an organizer, a moderator (which can also be the Special Session Chair) and an opportunity for three or more participants to speak in a room with theater-style seating with a seated audience of up to 250 people.

Do Special Sessions produce a manuscript to be published in the DAC proceedings?

There are three options to choose from regarding manuscript production:

  1. One manuscript is produced encompassing all talks in the session: One file is submitted with all speakers listed as authors on the manuscript.
  2. Each speaker is given the option to produce a manuscript or not.
  3. All speakers can decline the option of producing a manuscript.

Invited papers are required to include the word “Invited” as a prefix to the title.

What are possible structures for a DAC Special Session?

 There are three different popular structures for a DAC special session. Of course, variations on any of these structures may be appropriate – but please justify your choice of structure in your proposal. The popular structures are:

  1. Traditional – As many 30-minute talks as will fit into a session of 90 or 120 minutes.
  2. Mini-tutorial plus solutions – The first talk is a 30 or 45-minute setup talk, followed by shorter (15 or 30-minute) talks. The first talk could act as a mini-tutorial or outline a problem, followed by 15 or 30-minute talks which cover various solutions or approaches looking for solutions in the topic area.
  3. Talks and panel – e.g., three 30-minute talks, followed by a 30-minute panel discussion moderated by the Session Chair and involving all the speakers, including Q&A moderated by the chair which engages the audience.

Who organizes the Special Sessions?

The DAC Organizing Committee reviews the proposals for the special sessions and coordinates with the organizer on the final content. All suggestions must be submitted via the DAC website; direct solicitations must also be entered there for consideration. However, please feel free to consult the Special Session Chair prior to submitting the proposal.

How are the DAC Special Sessions selected? What is the process?

The DAC Executive Committee determines which and how many special sessions are included in the DAC program, as well as their placement in the conference schedule. The Program Committee selects special sessions based on:

  • How complete and compelling the special session proposal is
  • Timeliness of the proposal – i.e., why it is especially suitable for DAC to cover this topic at this time
  • Breadth of interest in the area
  • Confirmed speaker list and the coverage of the topic in their talks
  • How well the topic fits within the overall content of the conference

Once the special session submission has been reviewed, the Executive Committee may make any changes to the special session they deem necessary in the best interest of the program, including:

  • Add, remove, or replace proposed speakers
  • Replace the proposed session chair
  • Modify the topic

If multiple special session proposals are submitted with similar topics, the Executive Committee may choose to accept one over the others, to merge the proposed sessions, or to reject all of them.

Who is involved in a Special Session?

  • Organizer: The organizer writes the proposal for the special session, selects and confirms the participation of the chair and session speakers, and submits the proposal to DAC by the due date (November 22, 2021). The organizer also coordinates the proceedings manuscripts, to be submitted by April 14, 2022, to the proceedings publisher with the complete author lists.
  • Chair: The special session chair fills the same role as the chair of any regular technical program session. The session organizer may serve as the session chair. They briefly introduce the session and each speaker, keep track of time, and moderate the panel (if a panel is part of the special session), and manage the question and answer session after each talk.
  • Speakers: The speakers for the special sessions fill the same role as any regular technical speaker at DAC, and must submit separate or joint invited manuscripts for publication in the proceedings. The Special Sessions Chair and session organizer will review the manuscript and provide feedback.

What if I do not have enough speakers for a full Special Session?

If you have an idea for 1-2 talks in a special session, we still encourage you to submit the incomplete session. The DAC Executive Committee may find other speakers in order to fill out the session.  It may be possible to merge incomplete special session proposals into one session.

I still have some questions. Who do I contact?

Feel free to email Anand Raghunathan, 59th DAC Special Sessions Chair, if you have any questions. Putting together a successful special session typically requires iterations with the program committee, so feel free to contact Anand any time before the deadline to get inputs on ideas you have.

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Please select up to two of the following Topic Areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Cloud
  • Design
  • Electronic Design Automation
  • Embedded Systems & Software (ESS)
  • IP
  • Security


Please select up to three of the following Keywords:

  • Verification/Validation
  • Hardware security
  • Test/Manufacturing/Reliability/Safety
  • Analog & Mixed Signal
  • Architecture & System Design
  • Interconnects/networking
  • Front end design
  • Low Power
  • Back end design
  • Implementation
  • Automotive
  • System security
  • IoT
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Security & Privacy
  • Contest
  • Artifical Intelligence
  • Cloud
  • Any

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