Tentative schedule:
1:10 - 1:15 Opening remarks Brandon Reagen
1:15 - 1:45 Cache Block Watermarking: Over-engineered and Underwhelming
Cesar Gomes
Tufts University
1:45 - 2:15 Approximate Computing Is Dead; Long Live Approximate Computing
Adrian Sampson
Cornell University
Approximation is not a new idea anymore. There have been many research successes, but in the negative space left by the publication record lie some attractive unsolved problems. Some of these directions are not unsolved because no one has tried, however: they are effectively impossible. With so many good open problems in approximate computing, attempting the impossible is a tragic waste of time. I will discuss a collection of problems in approximate computing that are no longer worth pursuing—and a few that are.
2:15 - 2:45 Rethinking Systems Management with Game Theory: Milestones and Pitfalls
Ben Lee
Duke University
Sharing hardware improves energy efficiency, but whether strategic users participate in consolidated systems depends on management policies. Users who dislike allocations may refuse to participate and deploy private, less-efficient systems. We rethink systems management, drawing on game theory to model strategic behavior and incentivize participation. We will survey milestones in applying game theory to resource allocation, power management, and workload colocation. Moreover, we will reveal pitfalls and false starts in our efforts to link systems architecture and algorithmic economics.
3:00 - 3:30 Coffee Break
3:30 - 4:00 Embracing Serendipity and Surprise
Emery Berger
UMass Amherst
Asimov wrote 'the most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" but "That's funny."' I will talk about embracing serendipity and surprise as a research strategy both to discover new approaches and as a way to cope with apparent setbacks (a.k.a. negative results) with concrete examples from my own research.
4:00 - 4:30 It Seemed Secure at the Time: How and Why Unexpected Interactions Break Everything
Tim Sherwood
UC Santa Barbara

What is NOPE?

Not all research projects end up with positive results. Sometimes ideas that sound enticing at first run into unexpected complexity, high overheads, or turn out simply infeasible. Such projects often end up in a proverbial researcher's drawer, and the community as a whole is not aware of dead-end or hard-to-advance research directions. NOPE is a venue that encourages publishing such results in all their "badness".

What is a "good failure"?

The best negative results help us learn from our mistakes. They can illuminate hidden obstacles or demonstrate why we need a change of course. An ideal submission to NOPE has a novel idea which sounds plausible from first principles or design intuition, but yields little to no improvement (in performance, power, area, …) in practice. The paper drills down into the reasons for the lack of improvement and proposes a plausible explanation – different technology trends, unexpected implementation complexity.

Prior NOPE Workshops

NOPE 2016 Taipei, Taiwan
NOPE 2015 Waikiki, HI

Call for Papers

Our goal is to find papers which the community can learn from and might otherwise have trouble finding a suitable venue, so we take a broad view of what constitutes a "negative" result. A good NOPE submission might entail:

Important dates

Paper submission: September 27nd, 2017
Author notification: September 29th, 2017
Camera-ready version: October 7th, 2017


David Brooks, Harvard
Brandon Reagen, Harvard
Bob Adolf, Harvard
Svilen Kanev, Google

Program Committee

Chris Batten, Cornell
Luis Ceze, University of Washington
Tipp Moseley, Google
Thomas Wenisch, University of Michigan


Questions? Send us an email.

Submission Guidelines

We believe in substance over style, and we encourage authors to prioritize delivering their message over conforming to a particular template. That being said, we anticipate papers will probably end up in the 4–6 page range, and we encourage authors to use a two-column format. Papers need not be anonymized.

Additionally, we ask that you also include a short, 1-paragraph abstract in your submission email. This should be suitable for inclusion on the NOPE website and program handouts.

Finally, while one of the goals of NOPE is to find a home for papers that can sometimes be difficult to publish elsewhere, we do not wish to preclude publication elsewhere. NOPE 2017 will not be indexed with IEEE or ACM, so authors should feel free to expand and submit their work to larger venues. We discourage resubmission of previously published papers, though "second-look" papers or retrospectives fall squarely within the scope of the workshop and are welcomed.


Please submit your papers via email to: by 11:59pm (anywhere on Earth) on the deadline.