HOST 2018 Rebuttal Procedure and Instructions

In an effort to further improve the quality of the review process, this year’s HOST will provide authors with the opportunity to respond to reviewer comments (between the indicated dates below) after receiving their associated reviews. The new step-by-step process is as follows:

  1. Submission Phase: Authors will register and submit their papers at by the submission deadline (Oct.16, 2017). As in past years, changes cannot be made to the paper after this deadline is passed.
  2. Initial Review Phase: TPC members will bid on the submitted papers based on their expertise and interests before being assigned papers. The TPC members will review all their assigned papers and submit the reviews to Easychair.
  3. Rebuttal Phase: The rebuttal phase is a new step added to the review process this year. At the start of the rebuttal phase (Dec. 2017), authors will be sent all reviews associated with their paper without a final decision. Authors will be given two weeks to prepare and submit a brief response to the reviewer comments (detailed instructions are provided below). If desired, authors can also withdraw their paper during the rebuttal phase in order to submit to another conference. For papers that are withdrawn, the process will end, i.e., the steps below will not occur. Note that during this phase, no changes to the actual paper submission can be made.
  4. Deliberation Phase: After the rebuttal phase (Dec./Jan. 2017), the program chairs will provide rebuttals to the TPC members and deliberations will begin. Decisions will be made based on the initial submission as well as the responses provided in the rebuttal. In some instances, additional reviews may be added during this phase, either upon request by the TPC members or based upon the assessment of the program chairs. Some reviews may also be updated based on authors’ response.
  5. Notification Phase: Authors will be sent reviews with final decisions. There will be four types of decisions: (1) Accept as Full Paper (8 pages); (2) Accept as Poster Paper (reduce to 4 pages); (3) Conditional Accept as Full Paper or Poster Paper. In this case, authors will be provided with contact information of a shepherd who will review the final version of the paper; and (4) Reject.
  6. Final Submission Phase: Camera-ready versions of all papers will be submitted by the deadline (Feb. 2018). Shepherds must give final approval to authors who received a conditional accept before their camera-ready submission.

Rebuttal Preparation Instructions for Authors: Authors are not required to respond if they feel the reviews are accurate or the reviewers have not asked any questions. Authors who choose to provide a rebuttal must adhere to the following rules:

  1. Authors should continue to maintain their anonymity in their response.
  2. The rebuttal length will be limited to 500 words by EasyChair. Hence, authors should focus on the comments and questions from reviewers that they deem most critical.
  3. Rebuttals should be largely self-contained, only pointing to generally published literature. Reference to any external documents edited by the authors after the submission deadline (even anonymously) is not allowed.

Penalty of breaking any of the above rules can result in a reject decision.

Note that authors should not view the initial reviews as an accept or reject, regardless of received comments or scores. All reviews are subject to change during the deliberation phase based on discussions, the author’s rebuttal, and any other material encountered during the decision making process. Nevertheless, authors are allowed to withdraw their paper during the rebuttal phase if they prefer to submit their paper elsewhere. To do so, the paper should be formally withdrawn through the HOST 2018 EasyChair portal and the authors should send an e-mail to the program chairs.

Important Dates

October 16, 2017: Submission of Paper

Late Nov. / Early Dec.: Initial Reviews to Authors

One week after initial reviews: Rebuttal Submission

Mid/Late January 2018: Notification of Acceptance

Mid/Late February 2018: Camera-ready Paper Submission

Contact Information

Program Chair: Gang Qu

E-mail: gangqu at

Phone: +1 (301) 405-6703

Vice Program Chair: Domenic Forte

E-mail: dforte at

Phone: +1 (352) 392-1525

General Information: Ryan Kastner

E-mail: kastner at

Phone: +1 (858) 534-8908