Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems

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Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems
Logo for Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems.png
Abbreviation NIPS
Discipline Machine learning, statistics, artificial intelligence, computational neuroscience
Publication details
History 1987–
Frequency Annual

The Conference and Workshop on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) is a machine learning and computational neuroscience conference held every December. The conference is a single track meeting that includes invited talks as well as oral and poster presentations of refereed papers, followed by parallel-track workshops that up to 2013 were held at ski resorts. According to Microsoft Academic Search, NIPS is the top conference on machine learning.[1]


The NIPS meeting was first proposed in 1986 at the annual invitation only Snowbird Meeting on Neural Networks for Computing organized by The California Institute of Technology and Bell Laboratories. NIPS was designed as a complementary open interdisciplinary meeting for researchers exploring biological and artificial Neural Networks. Reflecting this multidisciplinary approach, NIPS began in 1987 with information theorist Ed Posner as the conference president and learning theorist Yaser Abu-Mostafa and computational neurobiologist James Bower as co-program chairman. Research presented in the early NIPS meetings including a wide range of topics from efforts to solve purely engineering problems to the use of computer models as a tool for understanding biological nervous systems. Since then, the biological and artificial systems research streams have diverged, and recent NIPS proceedings have been dominated by papers on machine learning, artificial intelligence and statistics.

From 1987 until 2000 NIPS was held in Denver, United States. Since then, the conference has been held in Vancouver, Canada (2001-2010), Granada, Spain (2011), and Lake Tahoe, United States (2012-2013). In 2014 and 2015, the conference was held in Montreal, Canada. Reflecting its origins at Snowbird Utah, the NIPS meeting is usually accompanied by workshops organized at a nearby ski resort.

The NIPS Conference is organized by the NIPS Foundation, established by Ed Posner in 1987. Terrence Sejnowski has been the President of the NIPS Foundation since 1993, when Ed had a tragic bicycle accident. The Board of Trustees consists of previous General Chairs of the NIPS Conference.

The proceedings from the conferences have been published in book form by Morgan Kaufmann (1987-1993), MIT Press (1994-2004) and Curran Associates (2005-2013) under the name Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems. Papers from all NIPS conferences are available at NIPS tutorials and conference presentations from 2013 are at


The conference continues to span a wide range of topics and continues to grow, with over 2,500 registered participants in 2014. Besides machine learning and neuroscience, other fields represented at NIPS include cognitive science, psychology, computer vision, statistical linguistics, and information theory. Although the 'Neural' in the NIPS acronym was something of a historical relic, the recent resurgence of deep learning in neural networks, which has a wide range of practical applications in speech recognition, object recognition, natural language processing and brain imaging, has revived the initial impetus for the conference.

The NIPS Experiment[edit]

In NIPS 2014, the program chairs decided to duplicate 10% of all submissions and send them through separate reviewers to evaluate randomness in the reviewing process.[2] Several researchers interpreted the result.[3][4] In response to the question whether the decision in NIPS is completely random or not, John Langford writes: "Clearly not—a purely random decision would have arbitrariness of ~78%. It is, however, quite notable that 60% is much closer to 78% than 0%." He concludes that the result of the reviewing process is mostly arbitrary.[5]


Past editions:

Future editions:

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Top conferences in machine learning & pattern recognition". Microsoft Academic Search. Retrieved 2015-04-14. 
  2. ^ Lawrence, Neil (2014-12-16). "The NIPS Experiment". Inverse Probability. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  3. ^ Fortnow, Lance (2014-12-18). "The NIPS Experiment". Computational Complexity. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  4. ^ Hardt, Moritz (2014-12-15). "The NIPS Experiment". Moody Rd. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  5. ^ Langford, John (2015-03-09). "The NIPS Experiment". Communications of the ACM. Retrieved 2015-03-31. 
  6. ^ - 2016 Conference
  7. ^ - 2017 Conference
  8. ^ - 2018 Conference