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USENIX - Call for Papers

3rd USENIX Workshop on Electronic Commerce

Including Invited Presentations on Public Key Infrastructure

August 31 - September 3, 1998
Tremont Hotel
Boston, Massachusetts

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Sponsored by USENIX , the Advanced Computing Systems Association

Important Dates

Extended abstracts due: March 6, 1998
Notification to authors: April 17, 1998
Camera-ready final papers due: July 21, 1998

Program Committee

Chair: Bennet S. Yee, UC San Diego
Public Key Infrastructure Coordinator: Daniel Geer, CertCo, LLC
Ross Anderson, Cambridge University
Marc Donner, Morgan Stanley
Niels Ferguson, Digicash
Mark Manasse, Digital Equipment Corp.
Clifford Neuman, University of Southern California
Avi Rubin, AT&T Labs
Win Treese, OpenMarket
Doug Tygar, Carnegie Mellon University
Hal Varian, UC Berkeley


The Third Workshop on Electronic Commerce will provide a major opportunity for researchers, experimenters, and practitioners in this rapidly self-defining field to exchange ideas and present the results of their work. It will set the technical agenda for work in electronic commerce by enabling workers to examine urgent questions, share their insights and discover connections with other work that might otherwise go unnoticed. To facilitate this, the conference will not be limited to technical problems and solutions, but will also consider their context: the economic and regulatory forces that influence the engineering choices we make, and the social and economic impact of network based trading systems.

Each of the Workshop's three days will have two sessions focused on Public Key Infrastructures (PKI). This series of invited speakers and debates will examine the role and possible mechanisms of PKI in the future of electronic commerce. Emphasis will be on the practical side--actual field cases--and learning from experience. We seek, as engineers, to determine which of the various competing PKI claims are sustainable and practical, and, as business people, to learn what of the available PKI technology is actually correlated with our needs as they truly are.

The Workshop on Electronic Commerce will begin with tutorials which offer in-depth instruction in essential technologies. The one day of tutorials will be followed by three days of refereed papers and panel presentations examining topics in electronic commerce as well as the invited sessions exploring Public Key Infrastructures. A hosted reception on Wednesday evening and evening Birds-of-a-Feather sessions will provide opportunities for attendees to meet together informally.

Tutorials Proposals Welcome

One day of tutorials, on August 31, will start off the Workshop. USENIX's well-respected tutorials are intensive and provide immediately-useful information delivered by skilled instructors who are hands-on experts in their topic areas. Topics for the Electronic Commerce Workshop will include, but are not limited to, security and cryptography.

If you are interested in presenting a tutorial, please contact:

Dan Klein, Coordinator
Phone: 412.421.2332

Public Key Infrastructure Sessions

We welcome your suggestions of participants, topics and format. All speakers will be invited. Please contact the PKI Sessions Coordinator, Dan Geer, at

Workshop Topics

Two and one-half days of technical sessions will follow the tutorials. We welcome submissions for technical and position paper presentations, reports of work-in-progress, technology debates, and identification of new open problems. Birds-of-a-Feather sessions in the evenings and a keynote speaker will round out the program. We seek papers that address a wide range of issues and ongoing developments, including, but not limited to:
Anonymous transactions
Business issues
Copy protection
Credit/Debit/Cash models
Cryptographic security
Customer service
Digital money
Electronic libraries
Electronic wallets
Email-enabled business
Exception handling
Identity verification
Internet direct marketing
Internet/WWW integration
Key management
Legal and policy issues
Proposed systems
Reports on existing systems
Rights management
Service guarantees
Services vs. digital goods
Questions regarding a topic's relevance to the workshop may be addressed to the program chair via electronic mail to USENIX will publish Conference Proceedings which are provided free to technical session attendees; additional copies will be available for purchase from USENIX.

What to Submit

Technical paper submissions and proposals for panels must be received by March 6, 1998. Work-In-Progress reports must be received by Mar 20, 1998. We welcome submissions of the following types:
  1. Refereed Papers - Full papers or extended abstracts should be 5 to 20 pages, not counting references and figures.

  2. Panel proposals - Proposals should be 3 to 7 pages, together with a list of names of potential panelists. If accepted, the proposer must secure the participation of panelists, and the proposer will be asked to prepare a 3 to 7 page summary of panel issues for inclusion in the Proceedings. This summary can include position statements by panel participants.

  3. Work-In-Progress Reports - Short, pithy, and fun, WIP reports introduce interesting new or ongoing work and should be 1 to 3 pages in length. If you have work you would like to share or a cool idea that is not quite ready to publish, a WIP is for you! We are particularly interested in presenting student work.
Please accompany each submission by a cover letter stating the paper title and authors along with the name of the person who will act as the contact to the program committee. If the paper is a Work-In-Progress submission, please clearly note this. Please include a surface mail address, daytime and evening phone number, and, if available, an email address and fax number for the contact person. If all of the authors are students, please indicate that in the cover letter for award consideration (see "Awards" below).

USENIX workshops, like most conferences and journals, require that papers not be submitted simultaneously to more than one conference or publication and that submitted papers not be previously or subsequently published elsewhere. Submissions accompanied by "non-disclosure agreement" forms are not acceptable and will be returned to the author(s) unread. All submissions are held in the highest confidentiality prior to publication in the Proceedings, both as a matter of policy and in accord with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976.

Birds-Of-A-Feather Sessions (BoFs)

Do you have a topic that you'd like to discuss with others? Our Birds-of-a-Feather Sessions may be perfect for you. BoFs are very interactive and informal gatherings for attendees interested in a particular topic. Schedule your BoF in advance by telephoning the USENIX Conference Office at 714.588.8649 or sending email to:


The program committee will offer awards of $500 for the best paper and the best student paper.

Where to Submit Proposals

Please send submissions to the program committee via one of the following methods. All submissions will be acknowledged.
  • Preferred Method: email (Postscript or PDF formats only) to:
    Files should be encoded for transport with uuencode or MIME base64 encoding.

    Authors should ensure that the PostScript is generic and portable so that their papers will print on a broad range of postscript printers, and should submit in sufficient time to allow us to contact the author about alternative delivery mechanisms in the event of network or other failure. If you send PostScript, remember the following:

    • Use only the most basic fonts (Times Roman, Helvetica, Courier). Other fonts are not available with every printer or previewer.
    • PostScript that requires some special prolog to be loaded into the printer won't work for us. Please don't send it.
    • If you use a PC- or Macintosh-based word processor to generate your PostScript, print it on a generic PostScript printer before sending it, to make absolutely sure that the PostScript is portable.
    • If you are generating the PostScript from a program running under Windows, make sure that you establish the "portable" setting, not the "speed" setting for PostScript generation.
    • A good heuristic is to make sure that recent versions of Ghostview (e.g. Ghostview 1.5 using Ghostscript 3.33) can display your paper.

  • Alternate Method: 10 copies, via postal delivery to:
    Attn: EC'98 Submissions
    USENIX Association
    2560 Ninth Street, Suite 215
    Berkeley, CA 94710
Please see the detailed submission guidelines.

Registration Information

Complete technical and tutorial programs, registration fees and forms and hotel information will be available on this web site in June, 1998. The information will also be printable from a PDF file located on the web site. However, if you would like to receive the printed program booklet, please request it at any time by email to

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Last changed: 23 Apr 1998 efc
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