Optimizing the JSM Program

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Sometimes the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) is frustrating to attend, because multiple sessions on the same topic are scheduled at the same time. This article uses seeded latent Dirichlet allocation and a scheduling optimization algorithm to very significantly reduce overlapping content in the original schedule for the 2020 JSM program. Specifically, a measure based on total variation distance that ranges from 0 (random scheduling) to 1 (no overlapping content) finds that the original schedule had a score of 0.058, whereas our proposed schedule achieved a score of 0.371. This is a huge improvement that would (i) increase participant satisfaction as measured by the post-JSM satisfaction survey, and (ii) save the American Statistical Association significant money by obviating the need for the traditional in-person meeting of the 47 program chairs and other organizers. The methodology developed in this work immediately applies to future JSMs and is easily modified to improve scheduling for any other scientific conference that has parallel sessions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Frigau, L; Wu, Q; Banks, D

Published Date

  • January 1, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 117 / 538

Start / End Page

  • 617 - 626

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-274X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0162-1459

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/01621459.2021.1978466

Citation Source

  • Scopus