PLATE favors discussion among its participants to provide as much useful feedback as possible to the workshop presenters and (ultimately) to advance the understanding of the research community of the current state-of-the-art. That is why PLATE combines three types of activities: speed dating session, presentations+focused group discussion(s) and general group discussions.
We start off the day with a speed dating session. Everyone picks out a random workshop participant he or she does not know yet and chats with him or her for five minutes. Experience taught us that five minutes is enough to introduce oneself, his or her research interests and motivation for being at the workshop. After chatting with a number of different participants, people feel more at ease, i.e. the barrier for starting a discussion is significantly lower.
After the speed dating, the participants who submitted a paper to PLATE have five minutes to summarize the key contributions of their workshop paper. This is not long, so we strongly encourage everyone to read all workshop papers beforehand. After each five-minute talk, there is up to forty minutes of group discussion on the presented paper (for each paper, the participants can form other groups). We will follow a writer's workshop format, i.e. the goal of the discussion is to point out the strong and weak points of the work, and to provide suggestions for improvement. The underlying idea is to make the paper strong enough for acceptance at AOSD 2010. The authors themselves can go from one discussion group to the other to participate and answer additional questions. At the end of the discussion session, the authors get written feedback about the discussion, and we briefly collect on a whiteboard the important research issues raised during the discussions.
After the last presentation+discussion session, the collected research issues are processed and grouped together. Discussion groups are formed which will focus on a group of issues, with the aim of delving deeper into the broader context of these issues and of coming up with possible solutions for them. Whereas the discussion on the papers is more focused, the group discussion try to generalize ideas and provide more visionary insights, which can spark new research directions and collaborations among workshop participants. After the group discussions, a representative of each group presents the findings to the other groups, who can give their view on the presented issues.
After all discussions have finished, the workshop organizers briefly recapitulate to distill the take-home message of PLATE 2009, and the workshop is wrapped up. A social event will be organized afterwards to chill down and continue some of the discussions.