SIGMM Test of Time Paper Award


This award is presented every year, starting in 2020, to the authors of the paper published either 10, 11 or 12 years previously at an SIGMM sponsored or co-sponsored conference (so the 2020 award would be for papers at a 2008, 2009 or 2010 SIGMM conference). The award recognizes the paper that has had the most impact and influence on the field of Multimedia in terms of research, development, product or ideas, during the intervening years, as selected by a selection committee.  The contributions the selection committee will focus on may be theoretical advances, techniques and/or software tools that have been widely used, and/or innovative applicationsthat have had impact on multimedia computing.

The rationale behind choosing 10, 11 or 12 years is that in any one year there might be 2 or 3 really impactful papers and in another year there may be none so choosing this window allows some flexibility here.
The Award Selection Committee may choose not to make an award in a given year.


The selection committee consists of 5 members  appointed by the current SIGMM elected officers (Chair, Vice-Chair and Conference Director) who serve staggered 3-year terms (initial members serve either 2, 3, or 4 years, subsequent members serve 3 years  guaranteeing a rotation in/out each year), plus one of the general and one of the program co-chairs for that year’s MULTIMEDIA Conference. The 5-member committee is constituted no later than April 1st in a given year and their deliberations will be completed by October that year in time for the SIGMM Annual Business Meeting at the MULTIMEDIA Conference, usually taking place in October or November.

The Award Committee will initially form a set of candidate papers for more detailed consideration, drawn from the eligible set published at a SIGMM sponsored event during the selection period. An individual is defined as being in conflict with a candidate paper if:

  1. the individual is a co-author of the candidate paper or a close collaborator, past or present, or an author of the candidate paper,
  2. the individual was at the same institution as a co-author of the candidate paper when the paper was published,
  3. the individual is at the same institution as a co-author of the candidate paper currently,
  4. the individual is at the same institution as a co-author of the candidate paper when the paper was published, or
  5. the individual is a relative of a co-author of the candidate paper.

In defining a conflict we are guided by the principles of the ACM Conflict of Interest Policy for ACM publications (add a link to and we refer to those in cases of doubt.
A Test of Time Award Selection Committee Member who has a conflict of interest with a paper that is in the candidate set will recuse himself/herself from the discussion process and a substitute will be selected by the Committee Chair in consultation with the SIGMM Executive Committee.

The current Award Selection Committee is:

  • Klara Nahrstedt, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US
  • Mohan Kankanhalli, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Shih-Fu Chang, Columbia University, US
  • Elisa Ricci, Program Co-Chair, ACM MULTIMEDIA 2020
  • Rita Cucchiara, General Co-Chair, ACM MULTIMEDIA 2020


The award includes an honorarium of $1,000 and a certificate sponsored by SIGMM, and will be announced at the SIGMM Business Meeting each year.


Nominations consist of the top papers from each SIGMM-sponsored conference for the years under consideration, ranked by number of citations according to the ACM Digital Library. Committee members may also nominate additional papers.

Faced with the issue of recognising papers published prior to the window of consideration, in the inaugural year,  we also announce a set of up to 15 papers published at SIGMM conferences each year prior to 2008 as
“honourable mentions” which could have been considered as strong candidates in their respective year of publication, if there had been an award for that year.  The first SIGMM MULTIMEDIA Conference was held in 1993 and so these up to 15 honourable mentions cover the years 1993 to 2007 inclusive.


Alan Smeaton and Prabha Balakrishnan (for SIGMM Executive Committee)
Revised 23 January 2020 and approved by ACM SGB and ACM Awards Committee, February 2020