WAX 2015

Call for Participation: Workshop on Approximate Computing Across the Stack

WAX 2015 is a workshop on approximate computing, a research direction that asks how computer systems can be made better—faster, more efficient, and less complex—by relaxing the requirement that they be exactly correct. Approximation arises from sources as diverse as sensors, machine learning algorithms, and big data applications. Approximate systems raise questions from across the system stack, from circuits to applications. WAX is a venue for discussion, debate, and brainstorming on all of these topics.

WAX will be co-located with PLDI 2015 at FCRC in Portland, Oregon.


With transistor scaling becoming less effective at improving computer system performance and energy efficiency, we urgently need new paths forward for expanding the capabilities of computers. Trading off accuracy for better performance and energy efficiency is an attractive option for many important and resource-hungry applications, including image and video processing, computer vision, machine learning, simulations, big data analytics, embedded systems, etc. For that reason, approximate computing has become a “hot topic,” with active research in computer architecture, programming languages, operating systems and user-facing areas such as ubiquitous computing and HCI.

Making approximate computing successful requires cooperation among all layers of the stack, from algorithms to programming languages to OSes to architecture to circuits, as well as system components like storage and networks. This workshop aims to bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers to present and discuss thoughts and ideas on how to effectively exploit approximate computing.

WAX will consist of a mix of peer-reviewed position papers, short lightning talks, and open discussion. Possible topics at WAX include:

How to Participate

We invite participation in three forms: position papers, lightning talks, and discussion topics.

Peer-Reviewed Position Papers

The workshop will include a peer-reviewed program of short position papers. Papers can describe an early-stage research project, advocate an opinion about approximate computing, or reflect on trends in the community. Accepted papers will be presented at the workshop in slots ranging from approximately 5 to 15 minutes depending on the paper’s scope and the volume of submissions.

Papers will not be published in a formal proceedings, so they do not preclude future publication. Final PDFs will be linked on the WAX web site.

Papers should use the formatting guidelines for SIGPLAN conferences and be limited to 2 pages, excluding references. Review is single-blind, so please include authors’ names on the submitted PDF.

Use the submission site here.

Lightning Talks

WAX will feature a session for short talks in the morning that present a single opinion, a nugget of an idea, or just food for thought. Speakers will have approximately 60 seconds. Talks will consist of two slides, one of which is a title slide (including at least the title itself and the speaker’s name, affiliation, and email address).

Everyone is invited to give a lightning talk (they will not be rejected as long as they are on topic). Please email your two slides as a PDF by June 3 to asampson@cs.washington.edu.

Open Questions

We will be holding discussions between WAX attendees. Groups will break out for discussion over lunch and report back to the rest of the attendees. We need your help building a list of discussion topics on approximate computing.

Please fill out the form on the homepage by June 3.

Important Dates

We are finalizing the deadlines, but they will be close to:



Program committee for position papers:

Please contact the organizers with questions.