Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Importance of naming things

Searching for "NIPS" in google blog-search mainly produces posts about nipples, my "CRF" subscription on delicious recently flooded me with links about "Chronic Renal Failure" (apparently a common feline ailment), and you can guess what I got when trying to find Bill Sutherlands "Beautiful Models" book (it's about statistical physics models).

Other unfortunate name choices -- hard-ass (hard as satisfiability, proposed for NP-complete problems before they had a name), Go programming language, hardcore model, Michael Jordan

As a rule of thumb, when coming up with a name for new technique, conference, concept, etc, it should satisfy at least one of two criteria:

  • not already be a popular keyword in google
  • be funny (ie RODEO ("regularization of derivative expectation operator") as an improvement on the LASSO (least absolute shrinkage and selection operator))

2 comments:

Roman V. Shapovalov said...

The RODEO example has reminded me another witty name trick: MOA (Massive On-line Analysis) library as an extension of WEKA. Weka and moa both are the birds endemic to New Zeland.

tweak said...

I noticed a Go-Cart on nipples.. err nips.. ;)