US Domination over Security Conferences

(UPDATE: now with NDSS data)

Looking at the program committees of a few top-ranking security conferences, you have to stop and think “wow, there’s a lot of American people in there” (I am referring to people working in the US, not necessarily their nationality). Just to name a few:

  • ACM CCS 2010: 39 out of 54 PC members in the US (72.2%)
  • Internet Society NDSS 2010: 31 out of 37 (83.8%)
  • IEEE S&P 2010: 42 out of 49 (85.7%)
  • Usenix Security 2010: 26 out of 28 (92.9%)

And an approximation of the similarity of program committees (only based on last names):

ndss & s_p : ['Feamster', 'Traynor', 'Shacham', 'Ateniese', 'Kirda',
'Smith', 'Stavrou', 'Barth', 'Backes', 'Kruegel', 'Borisov', 'Kohno',
'Brumley', 'Sion', 'Locasto', 'Reiter']
similarity: 33.33%

ndss & usenix : ['Traynor', 'Shacham', 'Provos', 'Barth', 'Danezis',
'Borisov', 'Ganapathy', 'Garfinkel', 'Locasto']
similarity: 24.32%

ndss & ccs : ['Christodorescu', 'Kirda', 'Stavrou', 'Barth',
'Danezis', 'Borisov', 'Kohno', 'Ganapathy', 'Locasto', 'Cui']
similarity: 18.52%

s_p & usenix : ['Jha', 'Traynor', 'Giffin', 'Halderman', 'Shacham',
'Barth', 'Borisov', 'Locasto']
similarity: 16.67%

s_p & ccs : ['Halderman', 'Molnar', 'Waters', 'XWang', 'Stavrou',
'Barth', 'Gligor', 'Borisov', 'Kohno', 'Locasto', 'Yu', 'Kirda']
similarity: 22.22%

usenix & ccs : ['Sekar', 'Halderman', 'Gribble', 'Sailer', 'Barth',
'Danezis', 'Borisov', 'Ganapathy', 'Locasto', 'HWang']
similarity: 18.52%


I’m not sure how to interpret these numbers, they can mean lots of different things:

  • they might reflect the proportion of US/RestOfWorld academics working on computer security
  • or they might reflect the proportion of US/RestOfWorld academics working on software engineering (and therefore there is nothing specific to computer security)
  • causation 1: security conferences are top ranking when they have mostly US PC members
  • causation 2: top ranking conferences attract US PC members
  • what else?

2 thoughts on “US Domination over Security Conferences

    1. Maybe, as I don’t intend to be representative of anything. I just took what I thought were the 4 security conferences with the most impact, and here are the results.

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