PerFail 2025

Fourth International Workshop on Negative Results in Pervasive Computing

March, 2025

Co-located with IEEE PerCom 2025 in Washington DC, USA

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” - Eleanor Roosevelt


Not all research leads to fruitful results, trying new ways or methods may surpass the state of the art, but sometimes the hypothesis is not proven or the improvement is insignificant. But failure to succeed is not failure to progress and this workshop aims to create a platform for sharing insights, experiences, and lessons learned when conducting research in the area of pervasive computing.

While the direct outcome of negative results might not contribute much to the field, the wisdom of hindsight could be a contribution itself, such that other researchers could avoid falling into similar pitfalls. We consider negative results to be studies that are run correctly (in the light of the current state of the art) and in good practice, but fail in terms of proving of the hypothesis or come up with no significance. The “badness” of the work can also come out as a properly but unfittingly designed data collection, or (non-trivial) lapses of hindsight especially in measurement studies.

We took the insights and discussion from last year and wrote a paper about the collected information. You can read the published manuscript in IEEE Pervasive Computitng here.

PerFail also has been featured in the Nature feature article "Illuminating 'the ugly side of science': fresh incentives for reporting negative results". You can read the article here.


The papers of this workshop should highlight lessons learned from the negative results. The main outcome of the workshop is to share experiences so that others avoid the pitfalls that the community generally overlooks in the final accepted publications. All areas of pervasive computing, networking and systems research are considered. While we take a very broad view of “negative results”, submissions based on opinions and non-fundamental circumstances (e.g. coding errors and “bugs”) are not in scope of the workshop as they do not indicate if the approach (or hypothesis) was bad.

The main topics of interests include (but are not limited to):

  1. Studies with unconvincing results which could not be verified (e.g. due to lack of datasets)
  2. Underperforming experiments due to oversights in system design, inadequate/misconfigured infrastructure, etc.
  3. Research studies with setbacks resulting in lessons learnt and acquired hindsights (e.g. hypothesis with too limiting or too broad assumptions)
  4. Unconventional, abnormal, or controversial results that contradict expectations of the community
  5. Unexpected problems affecting publications, e.g. ethical concerns, institutional policy breaches, etc.
  6. “Non-publishable” or “hard-to-publish” side-outcomes of the study, e.g . mis-trials of experiment methodology/design, preparations for proof-of-correctness of results, etc.

We also welcome submissions from experienced researchers that recounts post-mortem of experiments or research directions they have failed in the past (e.g. in a story-based format). With this workshop, our aim is to normalize the negative outcomes and inherent failures while conducting research in pervasive computing, systems and networking, and provide a complementary view to all the success stories in these fields.

Important Dates*

Paper Submission: November 17, 2024
Author Notification: January 8, 2025
Camera-ready Due: February 2, 2025
Workshop Date: March, 2025

* All dates are AoE (check it here).


Regular papers should present novel perspectives within the scope of the workshop: negative results, lessons learned, and other fruitful “failure” stories. Papers must be in PDF format and contain 6 pages maximum (including references). Papers should contain names and affiliations of the authors (not blinded). All papers must be typeset in double-column IEEE format using 10pt fonts on US letter paper, with all fonts embedded. Submissions must be made via EDAS. The IEEE LaTeX and Microsoft Word templates, as well as related information, can be found at the IEEE Computer Society website.

PerFail will be held in conjunction with IEEE Percom 2025. All accepted papers will be included in the Percom workshops proceedings and included and indexed in the IEEE digital library Xplore. At least one author will be required to have a full registration in the Percom 2025 conference and present the paper during the workshop (either remotely or in location). There will be no workshop-only registration.

Submission link: TBD


Each accepted workshop paper requires a full PerCom registration (no registration is available for workshops only). Otherwise, the paper will be withdrawn from publication. The authors of all accepted papers must guarantee that their paper will be presented at the workshop. Papers not presented at the workshop will be considered as a "no-show" and it will not be included in the proceedings.

Registration link: here


Organizing Committee


Nitinder Mohan Technical University of Munich


Ella Peltonen University of Oulu


Peter Zdankin University of Duisburg-Essen


Tanya Shreedhar University of Edinburgh


Malte Josten University of Duisburg-Essen

Technical Program Committee


Aaron Ding TU Delft


Andreas Erbslöh University of Duisburg-Essen


Daniela Nicklas University of Bamberg


Eirini Eleni Tsiropoulou University of New Mexico


Gürkan Solmaz NEC Labs Europe


Jörg Ott Technical University of Munich


Jon Crowcroft University of Cambridge


Jussi Kangasharju University of Helsinki


Oliver Gasser IPinfo


Roman Kolcun University of Cambridge


Suzan Bayhan University of Twente


Stephan Sigg Aalto University


Torben Weis University of Duisburg-Essen

Previous Editions