We believe that the wide-spread adoption of open source software policies will have a tremendous impact on the field of machine learning. The goal of this workshop is to further support the current developments in this area and give new impulses to it. Following the success of the inaugural NIPS-MLOSS workshop held at NIPS 2006, the Journal of Machine Learning Research (JMLR) has started a new track for machine learning open source software initiated by the workshop's organizers. Many prominent machine learning researchers have co-authored a position paper advocating the need for open source software in machine learning. Furthermore, the workshop's organizers have set up a community website mloss.org where people can register their software projects, rate existing projects and initiate discussions about projects and related topics. This website currently lists 123 such projects including many prominent projects in the area of machine learning.
The main goal of this workshop is to bring the main practitioners in the area of machine learning open source software together in order to initiate processes which will help to further improve the development of this area. In particular, we have to move beyond a mere collection of more or less unrelated software projects and provide a common foundation to stimulate cooperation and interoperability between different projects. An important step in this direction will be a common data exchange format such that different methods can exchange their results more easily.
This year's workshop sessions will consist of three parts.
We have two invited speakers: John Eaton, the lead developer of Octave and John Hunter, the lead developer of matplotlib.
Researchers are invited to submit their open source project to present it at the workshop.
In discussion sessions, important questions regarding the future development of this area will be discussed. In particular, we will discuss what makes a good machine learning software project and how to improve interoperability between programs. In addition, the question of how to deal with data sets and reproducibility will also be addressed.
Taking advantage of the large number of key research groups which attend NIPS, decisions and agreements taken at the workshop will have the potential to significantly impact the future of machine learning software.