The 21st ACM Multimedia conference started yesterday in Barcelona, Spain. It is probably the most important event for researchers working on multimedia, something that is also confirmed by the Google Scholar ranking for the area that ranks it third after two Transaction journals. If you cannot attend it, please follow it on Twitter; the official hashtag is #acmmm13.
You can also read the full proceedings, since they are open to all for 4 weeks, on the ACM Digital Library.
Best papers session
The conference has changed a lot in the latest years, and recently it has moved from a 4 track conference (tracks were Content, Systems, Application and human-centered multimedia) to a conference with a dozen of areas that are updated every year. Perhaps the fact that the best paper session is still composed by 4 full papers is the only reminiscence of the old organization.
This year two of the papers of this session were about social media analysis. This topic is getting more and more attention by the ACM MM community. The oral session on Annotation of the evening could have been easily renamed Social Media Annotation, since all the works dealt with it.
Following a certain attitude of the community to value systems, two of the best papers have shown also full applications that provide a broader context to research work. One of the two was, in my opinion, even commercial-grade, presenting a system that recommends make-up and hairdos.
One of the things I like best is the fact that the conference has a very broad scope, considering really all the aspects of multimedia. I'm pretty much sure that no other computer science conference in the world has an interactive art exhibition, with works submitted by artists or by researchers that are expressing themselves. Not all the editions have been able to fully support this part of the program; this year the setup was quite nice: an art exhibition building just in front of the museum of contemporary art. My favorite was the MixPerceptions work; you can see how it works in thi couple of photos.