The European Conference on Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases (ECMLPKDD) includes a PhD Forum on machine learning and knowledge discovery.
The purpose of this forum is to provide an environment specifically for junior PhD students to exchange ideas and experiences with peers in an interactive atmosphere and to get constructive feedback from senior researchers in data mining, machine learning, and related areas.
The focus of the discussion at the PhD Forum would be the work in progress of junior PhD students, with 1-3 years of research experience, towards their dissertation.
During the forum, post-docs and senior researchers with experience in supervising and examining PhD students will participate and provide feedback and advice to the participants.
It will be an excellent opportunity for developing person-to-person networks to the benefit of the PhD students in their future careers.


  • Lightning-talks session followed by poster session
  • “Speed dating” with senior researchers
  • Invited talk on “How to Survive and Enjoy your PhD”
  • “Experience sharing” talks by senior PhD students/recent graduates

The PhD Forum spans various topics of data mining, machine learning, and work in related fields such as databases, artificial intelligence, statistics, information retrieval, multimedia and the Web. Topics in specific domains such as bioinformatics and the more general science informatics are also encouraged. Participants with interdisciplinary work across the areas are particularly welcome.
The PhD forum is open for two types of submissions:

1. Work-in-progress papers must contain a clear motivation and description of the problem identified. Yet, the discussion of related work, the approach, and the theoretical and/or empirical evaluation may still be incomplete (at most 10 pages in length).
Work-in-progress papers may include the following items:

  • Motivation, problem description
  • Background and related work (including key references)
  • Novelty and significance relative to the state of the art
  • Approach, data, methods and proposed experiments
  • Results obtained and future work

Work-in-progress papers could have been published earlier at other conferences or workshops.

The purpose is to obtain technical feedback on topic and writing.

2. PhD project plans, outlining a complete PhD research plan (at most 4 pages in length).
PhD project plans may include the following items:

  • Motivation, description of the problem area
  • Relevant related work (including related research areas and key references)
  • Aims and objectives
  • Approach, data, methods and possible evaluation strategies

The purpose is to obtain feedback regarding future plans.

Note that:

  • The only criterion for acceptance is that the submission is clearly structured and written in clear English language, and that it is of sufficient maturity to enable the audience of the PhD forum to provide constructive feedback.
  • Papers will not be formally published. However, unless the authors opt-out, they will be made publicly available through the conference website.
  • Authors will be asked to suggest specific researchers from the community (in particular, researchers who (are likely to) attend the conference) who they wish to get feedback from. The forum organizers will invite those researchers to meet the students during poster session.
  • All accepted papers will be presented in a poster session, which includes a special “speed dating” session with senior researchers.
  • The first author must be a PhD student or a Masters student with a concrete PhD research idea.
  • The PhD student must register for the conference and be present at the PhD Forum.
  • Co-authors may include the research advisors, committee members, and other collaborators as needed.

The papers must be written in English and formatted according to the Springer LNAI guidelines.
Author instructions and style files can be downloaded at:
To submit, please send your paper or plan by email to the Phd Forum chairs:

Paper submission: Friday, June 29, 2018
Author notification: Friday, July 20, 2018
PhD Forum: Monday Sept 10 or Friday Sept 14 2018 (to be confirmed)

For any additional questions you can contact the PhD Forum Chairs Dafna Shahaf and Bart Goethals at