Call for Papers

The 40th ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing
July 26-30, 2021, Salerno, Italy virtual event
[It has been decided to hold the conference virtually this year.]


All deadlines are at 23:59 AoE.

Abstract submission: February 11th, 2021
Full paper submission: February 15th, 2021
Notification: April 30th, 2021
Proceedings version due: May 21st, 2021


The ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing is an international forum on the theory, design, analysis, implementation and application of distributed systems and networks. We solicit papers in all areas of distributed computing. Papers from all viewpoints, including theory, practice, and experimentation, are welcome. The goal of the conference is to improve understanding of the principles underlying distributed computing. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • biological distributed algorithms
  • blockchain protocols
  • coding and reliable communication
  • communication networks: algorithms, protocols, applications
  • complexity and impossibility results for distributed computing
  • concurrency, synchronization, and persistence
  • design and analysis of distributed algorithms
  • distributed and cloud storage
  • distributed and concurrent data structures
  • distributed graph algorithms
  • distributed machine learning algorithms
  • distributed operating systems, middleware, databases
  • distributed resource management and scheduling
  • fault-tolerance, reliability, self-organization, self-stabilization
  • game-theoretic approaches to distributed computing
  • high-performance, cluster, cloud and grid computing
  • internet applications, social networks, recommendation systems
  • languages, verification, formal methods for distributed systems
  • multiprocessor and multi-core architectures and algorithms
  • parallel network computations
  • peer-to-peer systems, overlay networks
  • population protocols
  • quantum and optics based distributed algorithms
  • replication and consistency
  • security in distributed computing, cryptographic protocols
  • sensor, mesh, and ad hoc networks
  • specifications and semantics
  • system-on-chip and network-on-chip architectures
  • transactional memory
  • wireless networks, mobile computing, autonomous agents

Paper Submission

A submitted paper should clearly motivate the importance of the problem being addressed, discuss prior work and its relationship to the paper, explicitly and precisely state the paper’s key contributions, and outline the key technical ideas and methods used to achieve the main claims. A submission should strive to be accessible to a broad audience, as well as having sufficient details for experts in the area.

Papers must be submitted in PDF format via and fall in two categories: regular papers and brief announcements.

A regular paper must report on original research that has not been previously published. It is not permitted to submit the same material concurrently to journals or conferences with proceedings. The only exception to this is prior or simultaneous publications appearing in the Science and Nature journals. Format and length requirements for submissions are stated below. All ideas necessary for an expert to fully verify the central claims in a paper, including experimental results, should be included in the submission.

A brief announcement may describe work in progress or work presented elsewhere. The title of a brief announcement must begin with “Brief Announcement:”.

Submissions not conforming to the rules stated in this call, as well as papers outside the scope of the conference, risk being rejected without consideration.

Submission Format

Submissions must be prepared in LaTeX and use the official ACM Master article template (acmart.cls, version of 1.73 or greater), available at The authors must use manuscript, nonacm and anonymous options when preparing the submission, and use the ACM format for references. No modifications of the format or style are allowed. Sample files are available below:

For regular papers, there is no page limit, and authors are encouraged to use the “full version” of their paper as the submission. The initial 15 pages should contain a clear presentation of the merits of the paper, including a discussion of the paper’s importance within the context of prior work and a description of the key technical and conceptual ideas used to achieve its main claims. The submission must contain full proofs of all claims in the paper. Although there is no bound on the length of a submission, material other than the first 15 pages will be read at the committee’s discretion.

Papers submitted as brief announcements should comply with the above rules, replacing 15 pages with 5 pages.

Anonymous Submissions

The conference will employ a lightweight double-blind reviewing process. Submissions should not reveal the identity of the authors in any way. In particular, authors’ names, affiliations, and email addresses should not appear at the beginning or in the body of the submission. Authors should ensure that any references to their own related work are in the third person (e.g., not “We build on our previous work …” but rather “We build on the work of …”). The purpose of this process is to help PC members and external reviewers come to an initial judgment about the paper without bias, not to make it impossible for them to discover the authors if they were to try. Nothing should be done in the name of anonymity that weakens the submission or makes the job of reviewing the paper more difficult. In particular, important references should not be omitted or anonymized. In addition, authors should feel free to disseminate their ideas or draft versions of their paper as they normally would. For example, authors may post drafts of their papers on the web, submit them to arXiv, and give talks on their research ideas. Authors with further questions on double-blind reviewing are encouraged to contact the PC chair by email.

Conflict of Interest

Indications of conflicts of interest will be required in the submission form.
A conflict of interest is limited to the following categories:

  1. Family member or close friend.
  2. Ph.D. advisor or advisee (no time limit), or postdoctoral or undergraduate mentor or mentee within the past five years.
  3. Person with the same affiliation.
  4. Involved in an alleged incident of harassment. (It is not required that the incident be reported.)
  5. Collaborators who jointly author works within the last two years.

If you feel that you have a valid reason for a conflict of interest not listed above, contact the PC chair or either of the Theory of Computing Advocates affiliated with this conference (Faith Ellen and Idit Keidar). If there is doubt about the validity of a claim of conflict of interest, the PC chair may request that a ToC advocate confidentially verify the reason.


Accepted regular papers of up to 10 pages and brief announcements of up to 3 pages in two-column ACM proceedings format will be included in the conference proceedings. They must be formatted with the ACM Master templates using \documentclass[sigconf]{acmart}. If more space than available in the proceedings for an accepted paper is needed, a full version must be available publicly, e.g. on arXiv, by the due date for the proceedings version (May 21, 2021), and the proceedings version must refer to this.

Extended and revised versions of selected papers will be considered for a special issue of the Distributed Computing journal. Up to two papers will be selected to be considered for publication in JACM.

The official publication date is the date the proceedings are made available in the ACM Digital Library. This date may be up to two weeks prior to the first day of the conference. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work.


Every regular paper is eligible for the best paper award. Regular papers co-authored by full-time students may also be eligible for the best student paper award. For a paper to be considered for this award, the nominated authors should be full time students at the time of submission and they should be principally responsible for the paper’s contributions. The program committee may decline to make these awards or may split them.