Stop Thinking, Just Do!

Sung-Soo Kim's Blog

Major Conferences and Journals about Machine Learning


18 February 2017

Major Conferences and Journals about Machine Learning

Top Conferences:

  • ICML
  • KDD
  • NIPS

In my opinion, these three are the flagship machine learning conferences. They are the largest by attendance, attract researchers from across virtually all areas of machine learning, and have high visibility in industry and other computational fields.

Compared to ICML and NIPS, KDD is a bit more focused on new applications and less focused on basic methodology – but many people consider KDD to be the more well-rounded machine learning conference. And remember, before there was Kaggle, there was the KDD Cup.

Smaller Conferences:

  • UAI

These two conferences typically span a wide range of topics in machine learning, although not quite as wide as the aforementioned three. They are also significantly smaller than the top 3, which makes them less visible to researchers outside the machine learning community. However, in terms of dissemination within the machine learning community, these conferences are just as good as the top 3. For instance, I regularly check up on papers coming from these conferences. But I would never physically attend these conferences if I didn’t have a paper to present – they’re not the best networking events because of their limited scale.

Niche Conferences:

  • ICLR
  • COLT

I call these two conferences niche conferences because they focus on a very narrow set of topics (from a machine learning perspective). ICLR is a recently created conference organized by the deep learning folks. The focus of ICLR is to study how to learn representations of data, which is basically what deep learning does. COLT is the conference on learning theory, and so is primarily focused on theoretical aspects of machine learning. Both conferences are great for their respective topics, and you get a more focused audience for your work.

Regional Conferences:

  • ECML
  • ACML

There are some regional conferences as well. I’d attend ECML or ACML if I specifically wanted to network with Europeans or Asians, respectively.

Other Conferences:

Many conferences of other fields have machine learning papers or even a machine learning track. For instance, conferences focusing on vision, natural language processing, or information retrieval have the majority of their papers using machine learning in some fashion, and also have many papers that propose new machine learning techniques.

Hence, I often skim through the proceedings of the following conferences from other computational fields:

  • CVPR
  • ICCV
  • ECCV
  • CIKM
  • WSDM
  • ACL
  • SDM
  • ICDM
  • WWW

Finally, there are conferences that are so broad that you could even call them unfocused. But they do have a fair amount of machine learning papers.

  • AAAI


  • Machine Learning
  • JMLR

The two main machine learning journals are Machine Learning and JMLR. Both contain top quality content. Other journals that are broader than machine learning are TKDE and JAIR. Both also contain some great machine learning papers as well.

Note that JMLR and JAIR are completely open access, so they are free to browse. TKDE and Machine Learning are behind paywalls, however authors retain certain copyrights so you can usually find the papers on Google Scholar or the authors’ home pages.

comments powered by Disqus