The prank recalled a 1996 hoax in which New York University physicist Alan Sokal succeeded in getting an entire paper with a mix of truths, falsehoods, non sequiturs and otherwise meaningless mumbo-jumbo published in the quarterly journal Social Text, published by Duke University Press.
Stribling said he and his colleagues only learned about the Social Text affair after submitting their paper.
“Rooter” features such mind-bending gems as: “the model for our heuristic consists of four independent components: simulated annealing, active networks, flexible modalities, and the study of reinforcement learning” and “We implemented our scatter/gather I/O server in Simula-67, augmented with opportunistically pipelined extensions.”
Stribling said the trio targeted WMSCI because it is notorious within the field of computer science for sending copious e-mails that solicit admissions to the conference.
The idea of a fake submission was to counter “fake conferences … which exist only to make money,” explained Stribling and his cohorts’ website, “SCIgen - An Automatic CS Paper Generator.”
“Our aim is to maximize amusement, rather than coherence,” it said. The website allows users to “Generate a Random Paper” themselves, with fields for inserting “optional author names.”