The experience of my first presentation at a conference

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I feel excited to have presented my paper Results Merging in the patent domain at the 24th Pan-Hellenic Conference on Informatics (PCI 2020). This was my very first presentation at a conference. It was an amazing experience.

The conference was online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I felt a bit disappointed because my first conference will be online but I was trying to find positive parts of this.  I will present from my comfortable chair in my home I thought. Unfortunately, this didn’t help, and eventually, I compromise with the thought that this could be the last virtual conference so I said to myself enjoy it as something unique.

The conference started on Friday 20/11/2020 at 13:00. My presentation at the conference was on Sunday. We were four in total in the session ‘Data & Process Mining’ and I was the last presenter. On Sunday morning I woke up early. The main emotions were a joy with a little stress and occasionally small doses of impatience. I checked my slides to check if everything is alright. I presented to myself one more time to be ready. Then at 9:30, the conference started. A thought came to my mind: ‘Should I pass some presentations to read my slides one more?’ No, there are interesting works I need to see. The first session started. I had some questions for a presenter. It was a presentation about solving a machine learning problem. Should I ask or save my enthusiasm for later? Maybe wait for the more experienced to ask questions first? Those were the thoughts at that point. Eventually, I asked and soon my questions turned to a small discussion about the problem.

My session was at 14:00. The previous session finished at 13:00. We had a 1-hour break. The plan was to eat something quickly and then come back to check my presentation one more time. I said to myself, ok let’s have a quick look and then eat something. Not knowing how the clock showed almost 14:00 so I missed my lunch. My presentation was scheduled at 15:10 by the session chairs. It is almost three. Hundreds of things to check are coming to my mind. Am I ready? Did I forget anything? Is the wifi ok? Did I turn off my phone? Is the computer in charge? Does my mic work? Are there any parts in my slides I need to check again? Am I ready for possibly difficult questions? Are there any people I know in the audience? Without having time to answer all the questions my part started. I am already in my first slide. Before even finish presenting my first slide all the stress and anxiety disappeared. I now feel comfortable presenting the work I‘ve been doing all these months.

After I presented DoSSIER information in the second slide, I started explaining our paper called ‘Results Merging in the Patent Domain’. In this paper, we test machine learning methods for results merging in patent document retrieval. Specifically, we examine random forest, decision tree, support vector machine (SVR), linear regression, polynomial regression and, deep neural networks (DNNs). The models are tested in cooperative and uncooperative environments where text statistics and document scores from remote patent collections may be available or not respectively. We use two different methods for results merging, the multiple models (MMs) method, and the global models (GMs) method. Furthermore, we examine whether the ranking of the document’s scores is linearly explainable. The CLEF-IP 2011 standard test collection was used in our experiments. The random forest produces the best results in comparison to all other models and it fits the data better than linear and polynomial approaches.

I finished the presentation and soon the questions started. It was nice to answer them and get feedback about my work. Soon we finished with this session. 30 minutes break and then we have the last session. I now feel more relaxed, happy, and ready to enjoy the last session. At 17:30 the conference came to the end. It was an amazing experience. This was my first experience participating and presenting at a conference. I am, looking forward to the next conferences, presentations, meetings, and challenges. I cannot wait for new experiences.

Thank you DoSSIER for allowing me to develop myself and contribute to science!


This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860721