At a "secret session" yesterday afternoon, Laszlo Babai disclosed the secret to getting a paper accepted to STOC. Let n be the number of authors and let pk be the number of previous STOC/FOCS papers by the kth author.
- Satisfy the inequality Σk pk1/4 > 24/7 n6/7.
- Make sure pk > 0 for all k. (No novice co-authors.)
- Have at least one co-author who has been a STOC/FOCS co-author with at least one member of the program committee.
- Submit late (after the median submission).
- Have an even number of authors.
The overall acceptance rate at STOC 2004 was 25.8% (70 acceptances out of 271 submissions). Each of these five conditions was positively correlated with the probability of acceptance. Papers that followed all five criteria had a 76.9% acceptance probability (10 out of 13)!