A brief report about the IEA AIE 2020 conference

In this blog post, I will write a brief report about the 33rd International Conference on Industrial, Engineering & Other Applications of Applied Intelligent Systems (IEA AIE 2020), held in Kitakyushu, Japan from the 22nd to 25th September 2020.

What is IEA AIE 2020?

The IEA AIE 2020 is a well-established academic conference that has been running for 33 years. It is about artificial intelligence, and it attracts many papers about the applications of intelligent systems.

I have personally attended this conference many times in the past (IEA AIE 2009, IEA AIE 2010, IEA AIE 2011, IEA AIE 2014, IEA AIE 2016, IEA AIE 2018, IEA AIE 2019), and have 13 papers in its proceedings.

This year, I am attending IEA AIE 2020 as author but also as program chair. The organizers this year are:

Proceedings of IEA AIE 2020

The IEA AIE 2020 proceedings is published by Springer in the Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (LNAI) series of book, which ensures good visibility to the papers. There is both a printed copy and a USB version of the proceedings:

This year, 119 papers have been submitted to the conference. Each paper has been reviewed by at least 3 reviewers. The Program Committee who evaluated the papers is composed of 82 researchers from 36 countries.

A total of 62 full papers were accepted and 17 short papers. All of those were published in the Springer proceedings. Moreover, an additional 9 poster papers were published in a separated poster proceedings with ISBN.

The papers covered many applications to real-life problems such as: •engineering, science, •industry, •automation •robotics, •business and finance, •medicine and biomedicine, •bioinformatics, •cyberspace, •human-machine interaction.

This year, in the new format of the IEA AIE conference, some special sessions were organized. A special session is like a special track about a specific topic of interests. All papers from the special track are published in the main conference proceedings. Here is the information about the two tracks:

Best paper awards

Moreover, this year, four types of awards are announced during the conference:

  • Best paper award: Dolly Sapra, Andy D. Pimentel: Constrained Evolutionary Piecemeal Training to Design Convolutional Neural Networks.
  • Best theory paper award: Fan Zhang et al.
    A new integer linear programming formulation to the inverse QSAR QSPR for acyclic chemical compounds
  • Best application paper award: Wei Zhang and Chris Challis
    Automatic identification of account sharing for video streaming services
  • Best special session paper award: Wei Song, Lu Liu, Chaomin Huang
    TKU-CE: Cross-Entropy Method for Mining Top-K High Utility Itemsets

These awards were selected by a committee based on review scores and a discussion of the top papers. To ensure that the process is fair, papers from the organization committee members were excluded from receiving awards.

A partly virtual conference

Due to the coronavirus pandemy around the world, the conference was held virtually and also on site in Japan at the same time. This required some special organizations from the local organizers and was very well done. I was happy to saw friends in the conference.

Day 1 – Opening session, keynotes and regular papers

In the opening session of the conference, the conference was presented. Each organizers gave some words about the conference. Then, there was two keynote speeches : one by Prof. Tao Wu about healthcare, and the other by Prof. Ee-Peng Lim about AI for social goods.

The talk of Prof. Lim was very interesting as he talked about two projects that can have a positive implications for the society. The first one was about a probabilistic model of the labor market in Singapore. The second one was about an application that can let users take picture of their food to keep track of what they are eating. The system FoodAI can be tested on this website: https://foodai.org/ Here is a few slides from this presentation.

In his conclusion, Prof. Lim also talked about three challenges for the development and adoption of proposed models.

The keynote was followed by several paper presentations on various topics.

Day 2 – regular papers + keynote talks

On the second day, there was more paper presentations and also two keynote talks (one by Prof. Bo Huang and one by Prof. Enrique Herrera Viedma).

The keynote of Prof. Enrique Herrera Viedma was about group decision making, that is how a group of expert can reach an agreement to take decisions.

Generally, group decision making is reached through a concensus reaching process which requires discussion between experts and involve multi stage negotiation. Here are a few slides, describing the main process:

He explained that nowadays group decision making is done in a new context, with social networks and Web 2.0 tools.

Then, he discussed in more details about properties of social networks and how sentiment analysis can play a role in decision-making models. Here are a few of the important properties of social networks:

Sentiment analysis can be used in group decision making to understand how a user feels about a particular topic, and in particular the preferences of experts about different alternatives. Here are some details:

Here is an overview of the proposed group decision making based framework

Then, there was more details but I will not report on everything.

An upcoming special issue in the Applied Intelligence journal

Another great thing this year at IEA AIE is that there will be a special issue in the Applied Intelligence journal (Springer, Q2). The best papers of the conference will be invited for an extension in the special issue. Details will be announced after the conference.

Next year… IEA AIE 2021… in Kuala Lampur

It was announced that the IEA AIE 2021 conference will be held next year in Kuala Lampur (Malaysia).

The website of IEA AIE 2021 is already online at http://ieaaie2021.wordpress.com/ Here are the key dates related to this conference:

Day 3 and 4 – More paper presentations

On the third and fourth days, there was more paper presentations.

Pattern mining papers

This year, there was 7 pattern mining papers, which shows that it is a popular topic at this conference. Since this is a topic of interest for me and to several readers of this blog, here is the list of papers:

  • TKU-CE: Cross-Entropy Method for Mining Top-K High Utility Itemsets
    Wei Song, Lu Liu and Chaomin Huang
  • Mining Cross-Level High Utility Itemsets
    Philippe Fournier-Viger, Ying Wang, Jerry Chun-Wei Lin, Jose Maria Luna and Sebastian Ventura [ppt]
  • Maintenance of Prelarge High Average-Utility Patterns in Incremental Databases
    Jimmy Ming-Tai Wu, Qian Teng, Jerry Chun-Wei Lin, Philippe Fournier-Viger and Chien-Fu Cheng
  • Efficient Mining of Pareto-front High Expected Utility Patterns
    Usman Ahmed, Jerry Chun-Wei Lin, Jimmy Ming-Tai Wu, Youcef Djenouri, Gautam Srivastava and Suresh Kumar Mukhiya
  • TKE: Mining Top-K Frequent Episodes
    Philippe Fournier-Viger, Yanjun Yang, Peng Yang, Jerry Chun-Wei Lin and Unil Yun
  • Parallel Mining of Partial Periodic Itemsets in Big Data [ppt]
    C. Saideep, R. Uday Kiran, Koji Zettsu, Cheng-Wei Wu, P. Krishna Reddy, Masashi Toyoda and Masaru Kitsuregawa
  • A Fast Algorithm for Mining Closed Inter-Transaction Patterns
    Thanh-Ngo Nguyen, Loan T.T. Nguyen, Bay Vo and Ngoc-Thanh Nguyen

Conclusion

I have enjoyed the conference and will be looking forward to next year in Malaysia.


Philippe Fournier-Viger is a computer science professor and founder of the SPMF open-source data mining library, which offers more than 170 algorithms for analyzing data, implemented in Java.

Posted in artificial intelligence, Conference, Data Mining | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Upcoming 3rd Utility Mining and Learning Workshop (UDML 2020!) at IEEE ICDM 2020

Today, I just want to talk a little bit about the upcoming 3rd UDML 2020 workshop on utility mining and learning that I am co-organizing at the IEEE ICDM 2020 conference. This workshop was previously held at KDD 2018 and ICDM 2019.

This year, we have received several papers. All papers have been reviewed by at least 3 reviewers. The final set of papers that has been accepted is:

  • Insights From Urban Sensing Data: From Chaos to Predicted Congestion Patterns
    Minh-Son Dao, Ngoc-Thanh Nguyen, Rage Uday Kiran, and Koji Zettsu
  • Efficient Mining of Non-Dominated High Quantity-Utility Patterns
    Jimmy Ming-Tai Wu, Qian Teng, Gautam Srivastava, Matin Pirouz, and Jerry Chun-Wei Lin
  • A Tree-based Fuzzy Average-Utility Mining Algorithm
    Tzung-Pei Hong, Meng-Ping Ku, Wei-Ming Huang, Shu-Min Li, and Chun-Wei Lin
  • Sample-Rank: WeakMulti-Objective Recommendations Using Rejection Sampling
    Abhay Shukla, Jairaj Sathyanarayana, and Dipyaman Banerjee
  • Valuing Player Actions in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
    Peter Xenopoulos, Harish Doraiswamy, and Claudio Silva
  • TKC: Mining Top-K Cross-Level High Utility Itemsets
    Mourad Nouioua, Ying Wang, Philippe Fournier-Viger, Jerry Chun-Wei Lin, and Jimmy Ming-Tai Wu

Some papers are related to pattern mining, as it is one of the main theme of this workshop. But it is interesting that some good papers on other topics have also been accepted. For example, there is a paper about evaluating the value of players in Counter-Strike. In that context, the concept of utility has a special meaning (value of a player). Also, this year, some papers focus a bit more on application such as the one about using pattern mining for studying congestion data.

The workshop will be held on November 17th online. The proceedings of the workshop should be published by IEEE at approximately the same time.


Philippe Fournier-Viger is a computer science professor and founder of the SPMF open-source data mining library, which offers more than 170 algorithms for analyzing data, implemented in Java.

Posted in Big data, Conference, Data Mining, Data science, Utility Mining | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Imposter Syndrome in Academia

In this blog post, I will talk about something that many students or researchers have or are experiencing in academia, which is called the imposter syndrome. It is the feeling of not being worthy of having achieved some success or being in a given position. For example, a new PhD student accepted in a top university may feel that he was just lucky and did not really get accepted because of his skills or efforts. A professor may similarly feel that he received funding but that it is undeserved. The imposter syndrome is something very common in academia. Many people have experienced it at some point in their career.

Personally, when I was first admitted in the master degree in computer science more than 15 years ago, I felt that there was still some gaps in my knowledge. For example, I thought that I had not learnt enough about some topics in computer science or mathematics during the bachelor degree. Although I was a reasonably good programmer, it appeared to me that some other students were better. Moreover, another question that I had when starting the master degree was: Even if I am a good student, will I be successful at research? This is a question that many students have because doing research is something new at that stage.

Then, during the master and Ph.D degree, I published several papers on e-learning and started to attend academic conferences. But when attending the conferences, I felt sometimes that my knowledge of the field was not so deep compared to that of many experts there.

Later, I changed my research direction towards data mining and became very good in some research areas there. However, I still felt that I did not know enough about some hot topics like big data.

The examples above are situations that could be viewed as some form of imposter syndrome.

Now, I would like to talk more about this.

Is the imposter syndrome something bad?

Yes, if it discourage you. No, if it motivates you to work harder and to improve yourself. Personally, when I perceive that I have some weaknesses, I will work harder to try to overcome them, and in the end, it will be positive. Thus, whether the imposter syndrome is something negative of positive depends on your attitude towards it.

How to overcome the imposter syndrome?

A good start is to recognize that you have several skills and to think about your strengths. Moreover, you should remember that although some other people may appear to be better at some things, you are better at other things. For example, another professor may seem to be better at teaching than you are but you may be a better researcher, or a student may seem better programmer than you, but you are better at writing research papers. And in any case, you can work out on your weaknesses to improve yourself.

Another important thing is to not be scared that people “unmask you” and discover that you are an “imposter“. Remember that no one is perfect and you should not be shy to admit htat you have weaknesses. You can then ask for help or questions to other people because this will help to improve yourself. For example, it is OK to ask a question about something that you do not understand during a research seminar.

Related to this, I will tell you another story. I remember some friend of mine that was scared of telling his supervisor that his programming skills were weak during his PhD studies. He did not tell his supervisor during his whole Ph.D but he was stressed that the supervisor may find out about it. In such case, I think that he should have been honest with the supervisor (and that is what I told him at that time). If he had done that, perhaps that the supervisor could have gave him some suggestions to improve his skills and my friend would have felt less stressful. But my friend found another solution. He instead worked hard and asked for help from many other students, and finally improved himself.

How long the imposter syndrome last?

There is no answer that is suitable for everyone. Some people overcome that syndrome by receiving some recognition from other people such as some award, a prize or obtaining a degree. But sometimes, the imposter syndrome stays there for a long time. For example, I have read some story about a tenured professor in a top level university that mentioned that he felt the imposter syndrome until he retired. After completing a paper, he was always thinking that he could maybe not find good ideas anymore for his next research projects.

Conclusion

In this blog post, I talked about the imposter syndrome and told you a few stories about it. The imposter syndrome is something very common at all levels from students to professors. The important is to know that you are not alone that you have strengths, and to think about this in a positive way to help you grow and improve yourself rather than discourage you. Don’t be afraid that people “unmask you” but instead ask questions, and work on improving yourself.


Philippe Fournier-Viger is a computer science professor and founder of the SPMF open-source data mining library, which offers more than 170 algorithms for analyzing data, implemented in Java.

Posted in Academia, Research | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Big problem on my website on IONOS webhosting!

Hi all,

A bad news is that the database of this blog was reverted to 3 years ago due to some technical problem. I have used 1and1 IONOS as hosting service for my websites for the last 10 years, but now it seems that the database for the blog was overwritten with an old backup because everything is as it was 3 years ago in January 2017. How could it have happened?

I have contacted 1and1 IONOS to try to fix the issue, but they denied that it is their fault and did not have any backup older than 7 days. And my own backup is a little bit old… This is unfortunate. Thus, I think that maybe all blog posts of the last three years are lost (maybe 50+ posts). Anyway, this can of things happen, and I will continue the blog again soon…

But this time, I will not trust the 1and1 hosting service and do my own backups more often.

I am now trying to recover old posts through the Internet Wayback Machine and the cache of web search engines… I have recovered a dozen posts already and will continue but it may take some time.

Update: After several hours, I think that I have recovered most of the missing blog posts… but maybe there are some broken links. At least, most of the posts are not lost.

Update on October 2020: I still have more problems with the IONOS database service of 1and1 :-/ This time my forum has gone offline for several days due to their database server going offline.

Philippe

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Unethical Reviewers in Academia!

In this blog post, I will talk about a common problem in academia, which is the unethical behavior of some reviewers that ask authors to cite several of their papers.

It is quite common that some reviewer will ask authors to cite his papers to increase his citation count. I have encountered this problem many times for my own papers when submiting to journals. Sometimes the reviewer will try to hide his identify by asking to cite four or five papers and include one or two from himself among those. But sometimes, it is very obvious as the reviewer will directly ask to cite many papers and they will all be from the same author. For example, just a few weeks ago, I received a notification for one of my papers where the reviewer wrote:

The related work needs improvement: Please add the following works:
…. title of paper 1 …
…. title of paper 2 ..
…. title of paper 3 ….
…. title of paper 4 …

That reviewer asked to cite four papers by the same person. In that case, it is very easy to guess who is the reviewer. In some cases, I have even seen two reviewers of the same papers both asking the author to cite their papers. Each of them was asking to cite about five of their papers. This was completely ridiculous and gave a very bad impressionabout the review process. This unethical behavior is quite common. If you submit many papers to journals, you will sooner or later encounter this problem, even for top 20 % journals.

Why it happens? The reason is that many universities consider citation count as an important metric for performance evaluation. Thus, some authors will try to artificially increase their citation count by forcing other authors to cite their papers.

So what are the solutions?

  • Authors facing this problem will often accept to cite the papers from the reviewer because they are afraid that the reviewer will reject the paper if they don’t. This is understandable. However, if the authors accept, this will encourage the reviewer to continue this unethical behavior for other papers. Thus, the best solution is to send an e-mail to the editor to let them know about it. This is what I do when I am in this situation. If you let the editor knows, the editor will normally take this into account and may even take some punitive actions like removing the reviewer from the journal.
  • To avoid this problem before it happens, some editors will read carefully the reviews and delete unethical requests by reviewers. However, this does not always happen because editors are often very busy and may not spend the time to read all comments made by reviewers. But it is good that some journal such as IEEE Access will put a disclaimer in the notification to inform authors that they are not required to cite papers that are not relevant to the article. This is a good way of preventing this problem.
  • Reviewers should only ask to cite papers that are relevant to the paper and will contribute to improving the quality of the paper. To avoid conflict of interests, a reviewer can suggest to cite a paper rather than tell authors that they must cite paper. This is more acceptable.

Conclusion

In this blog post, I have talked about some unethical behavior that many people have encountered when submiting to journals, and sometimes also for conferences. The reason why I wrote this blog post is that I have encountered this situation for two of my papers in the last two months and I have become quite tired to see this happen in academia.

If it also happened to you, please leave a comment below with your story. I will be happy to read it!


Philippe Fournier-Viger is a computer science professor and founder of the SPMF open-source data mining library, which offers more than 170 algorithms for analyzing data, implemented in Java.

Posted in Academia, Research | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to Improve Work Efficiency for Researchers?

In this blog post, I will talk about the topic of increasing work efficiency for researchers. This is an important topic as during a researcher’s career, the workload tend to increase over time but there is always only 24 hours every day. Thus, becoming more efficient is important. Being efficient also means to have more time to do other things after work such as spending time with your family and friends. I will share a few ideas below about how to improve efficiency for researchers.

work efficiency

Working on what is important

To improve efficiency, it is important to work on what is really important. For every task that a researcher wants to do, he should first evaluate how much time he will spend on the task and what will be the expected benefits. The reason is that sometimes the time spent on a task could be used to do something else that would bring more benefits for the same amount of time. For example, if someone is writing a research paper, he could spend a day on improving the quality of some figure or instead spend that day to proof-read the paper and improve the writing style. There are sometimes some tasks that we want to do that are not really important and require a lot of time. In that case, we maybe don’t need to do them.

Having a schedule and planning tasks

It is also a good habit to have a schedule to keep track of all the things that you need to do. Moreover, you can order tasks by priority to focus on the more important ones. It is also important to set goals and then try to make a plan of all the tasks that need to be done to achieve these goals.

planning and scheduling

For scheduling and planning, one can have a calendar and also a to-do list of important things to do. It is also good to keep a small book to write your research ideas when you have some to not forget them.

It is also good to do all the similar tasks on the same day. For example, if you have many papers to review, you can decide to review all of them in one afternoon rather than doing one every few days. Generally, this will be more efficient.

Working in a better environment

The work environment is also very important. It can be good for example to clean your desk, or find a quiet environment to work such as a library, to be more efficient. If you are in a noisy environment, it can also be useful to use some noise cancelling earphones or noise blocking earmuffs.

quiet work environment

And of course, one should avoid working in a distracting environment such as while watching TVs or working in positions that decrease productivity such as laying on the bed.

Using software to reduce distractions

There are also exists some software that helps to get more focused. For example, on Windows, I use a software called AutoHideDesktopIcons that will hide the desktop, the taskbar and all opened windows except the current window. This helps to remove many distractions.

auto hide icons software

There are also exists some software for writing that have minimal user interface to make sure that one can focus on writing. This is the case for example of WriteMonkey on Windows. The user interface of WriteMonkey is basically just a blank page, which can really help to concentrate on writing (see below).

writemonkey

Collaborating with others and giving work to others

Another way of becoming more efficient is to share your workload with other people. For example, if you invite someone else to participate to your paper, then this person will do some work and thus your work will be reduced. If you are a team leader, you can also give some work to your team members to reduce your own work, or even hire a personal assistant or someone else to do some work for your (e.g. paying someone to proofread your papers).

Conclusion

In this blog post, I gave a few tips about how to become more efficient at research. I could certainly say much more about this but I wanted to give a few ideas. Please share your other ideas or views in the comment section, below.


Philippe Fournier-Viger is a computer science professor and founder of the SPMF open-source data mining library, which offers more than 170 algorithms for analyzing data, implemented in Java.

Posted in Academia, Research | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Call for chapters on periodic pattern mining

Hi all, I have not written much on the blog in the last month because I have been very busy with numerous projects and deadlines. I thus took a small break to focus on other things. Now that I have more time, I will start to write more often on the blog, as before.

Today, I wanted to announce that I am co-editor of an upcoming Springer book about periodic pattern mining.

Periodic pattern mining consists of discovering patterns that appear regularly over time in data. For example, by analyzing customer data, one may find that a periodic pattern is that many customers buy wine and cheese together every week.

This book will aim at providing an introduction to periodic pattern mining and also showcase some recent research on that topic. Thus, chapters may take the form of a survey paper or that of a research paper.

If you are interested to participate, you can find a copy of the detailled call for chapters here, and submit a short chapter proposal no latter than October 1st.

The deadlines are as follows:

Chapter proposal deadline:1st October 2020
Proposal acceptance date:10th October 2020
Full chapter submission deadline:  15th January 2021
Planned publication date:     1st July 2021

Looking forward to see your submissions on this topic!

By the way, if you want to know more about periodic pattern mining, you can also check other resources:


Philippe Fournier-Viger is a computer science professor and founder of the SPMF open-source data mining library, which offers more than 170 algorithms for analyzing data, implemented in Java.(Visited 4 times, 4 visits today)

Posted in Academia, cfp, Pattern Mining | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Call for chapters on Tracking and Preventing Diseases with AI

Hi again, I am happy to announce that I am also co-editing an upcoming book about “Tracking and Preventing Diseases with Artificial Intelligence“, to be published by Springer in 2021.

This book is open to a wide varieties of topics related to health and artificial intelligence, including:

  • Artificial intelligence in health informatics
  • AI for predicting diseases
  • Predicting disease progression using biomarkers
  • Disease prevention using AI
  • Data mining approaches for medical pathway analysis
  • Big data analytics for predicting diseases
  • Artificial intelligence for medical resource management
  • Biomedical image analysis
  • AI for infectious disease tracking
  • Computer-aided automated diagnosis using AI
  • Devices, systems and innovative technologies for disease tracking
  • Wearable technology for disease tracking
  • IoT for disease tracking
  • AI for personal health management
  • AI-based systems for training health professionals
  • Software and public datasets for health informatics
  • Issues, challenges and future prospects in health informatics
  • Case studies related to incurable diseases, neurogenerative diseases, etc.

The deadline are as follows:

  • Chapter Submission Deadline: 15th October 2020
  • Acceptance Notification: 15th December 2020
  • Camera Ready Submission: 31st December 2020

The chapters must be formatted using the Springer format for contributed books, and have a maximum of 30 pages in Word or Latex. Accepted chapters are published free of charge.

For more details, please refer to the call-for-chapters!

Hope to see your chapter submissions soon!


Philippe Fournier-Viger is a computer science professor and founder of the SPMF open-source data mining library, which offers more than 170 algorithms for analyzing data, implemented in Java.

Posted in artificial intelligence | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to convert Latex to HTML?

In this blog post, I will explain a simple way of transforming a Latex document to HTML. Why doing this? There are many reasons. For example, you may have formatted some text in Latex and would like to quickly integrate it in a webpage.

convert latex to html

The wrong way

First, there is a wrong way of doing this. It is to first create a PDF from your Latex document, and then use a tool to convert from PDF to HTML. If you try this and the document is even just slightly complex, the result may be very bad… and the HTML code may be horrible with many unecessary tags.

The good way

Thus, the best way to convert Latex to HTML is to use some dedicated tool. There are several free tools, but many are designed to run on Linux. If you are using Windows, it may thus take you some time to find the right tool.

Luckily the popular Latex distributions like MikTek and TexLive include an executable of a softwate to convert from Latex to HTML that works on Windows. Thus, if you have the full TexLive distribution, you do not need to download or install anything else. Below, I will describe how to do with TexLive on Windows.

Using with TexLive on Windows

First, you need to open the command line and go to the directory containing your Latex document. Let say that your Latex document is called article.tex. Then, you can run this command:

   htlatex article.tex

The result will be a new file article.html

The result is usually quite good. For example, I have converted a research paper that I wrote about high utility episode mining and the results looks like this:

latex to html example

I would say that 90 % of the paper was converted correctly. There is some other parts that I have not shown like some pseudocode for some algorithms that were not formatted properly. But I would say that the conversion is on overall really good.

Conclusion

In this blog post, I have shown a simple way of converting Latex to HTML on Windows using the TexLive distribution. If you are using MikTex or Linux, similar commands can be used.


Philippe Fournier-Viger is a computer science professor and founder of the SPMF open-source data mining library, which offers more than 170 algorithms for analyzing data, implemented in Java.

Posted in Academia, Research | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Academic misconduct by Sandeep Kautish from LBEF / APU

In this blog post, I will talk about a recent case of serious academic misconduct by Sandeep Kautish from LBEF APU that I experienced when submitting a book proposal to CRC Press. In that book proposal, I am a collaborator (co-editor). The full story is below.

On June 4th 2020 morning, we submitted a book proposal to Prof. Sandeep Kautish, editor of a new book series called “Advances in Informatics and Information Systems Engineering” for CRC Press to propose a book related to artificial intelligence. We submitted to him because he previously made a call for book proposals.

Then, in the afternoon, we received the following e-mail from Sandeep Kautish:

FROM: CRC Editor-AIISE <crceditor.aiise@gmail.com>
TO: +++++, +++++, +++++, +++++
4th June, 14 h 46
Dear All,
Congratulations on the nicely drafted proposal.
Also, I wish to get the consent of you all to add myself (Prof. Dr. Sandeep Kautish, Series Editor CRC Press) as 5th Editor in the proposal. I am Series Editor of 3 (three) book series of CRC Press with over 30 books in production and have been the editor of more than five Elsevier, Springer, and IGI Global books (one Elsevier and one Springer already going on).
My brief biography is given below –

Dr. Sandeep Kautish is working as Professor & Dean-Academics with LBEF Campus, Kathmandu Nepal running in academic collaboration with Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation Malaysia.

(…)

Series Editor
Advances in Informatics and Information Systems Engineering
CRC Press (Taylor & Francis Group)

Thus, the book series editor Sandeep Kautish acknowledged receiving our proposal, said that it is a good proposal. But he told us that he wants to add himself as a co-editor of our book (!) This is totally unacceptable and inappropriate, as he did not write a single word of our proposal. And it is a clear conflic of interest.

We don’t have any reason to add him as co-editor. We don’t know him and he directly asks to put his name on our proposal that he did not write. And obviously, the purpose of this message is to make us feel that if we do not accept, he will reject the proposal and not transfer it to CRC Press. And if there is doubts about that, it has been confirmed in the next e-mail and phone call.

Now, since we cannot accept such behavior, one of the member of our proposal told him that we will not add him to the book proposal on the phone. Then, because of this he wrote another e-mail a few hours later to reject the proposal that he once thought was a good proposal:

FROM: CRC Editor-AIISE <crceditor.aiise@gmail.com>
TO: +++++, +++++, +++++, +++++
4th June, 19 h 27
Dear all,
Based on my discussion with _________ over a phone call, I have decided not to process and accept the said Proposal under my series. 

It was latter confirmed to me that he was very angry over the phone that we did not accept to put his name on our proposal. This is really unprofessional and unethical.

A book series editor should never ask to be put as co-editor of books that are proposed in his series, that he did not wrote, and as a condition to process the proposal. It is a very serious case of academic misconduct. And I am sure that this is not the policy of CRC Press, either. Thus, I will also fill a complaint to CRC Press about this so that he does not try to bully other researchers that are in weak positions into putting his name on their books.

I have previously published a few books with Springer and never had to face such bad behavior from a book series editor. In fact, I would never have imagine that this could have happened when submitting to an editor like CRC Press, which is a decent publisher.

Who is Sandeep Kautish?

So you may now wonder who is Sandeep Kautish? He is an Indian researcher who is professor and dean with of some small department called LBEF Campus in Kathmandu Nepal for the Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU).
This is his webpage: http://apiitmalaysia.academia.edu/DrSandeepKautish
and his other webpage: https://www.lbef.org/profile/dr-sandeep-kautish/
and this is his official e-mail: sandeep.kautish@lbef.edu.np

As I see from the webpage of Sandeep Kautish, he does not seems to be a strong researcher. He has about 100 citations in Google Scholar. Thus, I think that CRC Press maybe made a mistake when appointing him to such position as book series editor, and as we discovered he decided to take advantage of this to try to bully people into putting his name on their books. Why? I guess the reason must be to obtain a promotion or such things.

Update 1: More cases of academic extortion by Sandeep Kautish

2020-6-4 1:00 PM. About two hours after publishing this post, someone else has privately contacted me to inform me that Sandeep Kautish has done the same thing to them for another book proposal with CRC Press. They also did not give up to the bullying tactics and refused to add him as co-editor of their book.

2020-6-5 2.50 PM. Then, two more researchers have come up to talk with me privately to tell me about some bad experiences that they also had with Sandeep Kautish related to bullying for book proposals. The first one told me that such things happened about 10 more times to people that he knows. Here is some excerpt from that discussion:

He told me much more than this but I just show some key points and I hide some information to preserve anonymity of that person. The second one told me that he had more or less the same experience as me with Sandeep Kautish for a book proposal a while ago. Below I just show some small part of what he told me.

Update 2: Complaint to CRC press

2020-6-5: After complaining to CRC Press, they have answered me very quickly and offered to reconsider our book proposal for another book series. They also told me that they think that this is unacceptable, it is not their policy and that they were also very surprised. CRC Press have been very nice and professional and I am happy that they are now investigating this to take quick action to solve this problem. I have known CRC press for a long time (used some of their textbook for teaching and published with them before). The problem that I faced here is with a book series editor working for them. But it will not change my overall opinion that CRC is a good publisher.

Update 3: Action from CRC press

2020-6-11: Today I saw the message that after research, evaluation and deliberation, CRC Press has decided to cancel the three following series by Sandeep Kautish, Dr. Pradeep N, Dr. Sountharrajan, and Dr. J. Amudhavel:

– Innovations in Computational Approaches with Machine Intelligence

– Advances in Informatics and Information Systems Engineering Series

– Engineering Reflections on Pandemics and Sustainable Solutions for COVID-19

I am very happy about this quick action from CRC. It will ensure that the same situation will not happen again to other researchers in the future from these people!

Conclusion

In this blog post, I have shared a case of highly unethical behavior in academia by an Indian researcher named Sandeep Kautish who works at APU / LBEF. As always, in such case, the best solution is to file a complaint and make the story public otherwise such things will continue to happen.

If you know other information that may be interesting, you can share in the comment section below or send me a private message.

Posted in General, Plagiarism | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment