A paper I co-authored on network coding -- Network Coding Meets TCP (arxiv version) -- was accepted to INFOCOM. Full credit for the success goes to the graduate student Jay Kumar Sundararajan who led the project (and is graduating and looking for jobs this year...) Our goal (as the title suggests) is to make a TCP-compatible network coding congestion control scheme, and our approach uses an interesting variation on acknowledgments Jay Kumar had utilized previously; instead of acknowledging packets, you acknowledge "degrees of freedom" (or, encoded packets that will eventually decode to message packets).
The INFOCOM mail said 282 papers were accepted from 1435 submissions (post-withdrawals). A quick check shows that INFOCOM has been below a 20% acceptance rate regularly in recent years, and even assuming a completely unverified estimate that 10-25% of the submissions are things that really shouldn't have been submitted in the first place, in my opinion that's still a pretty low acceptance rate for what's supposed to be the big, open-tent networking conference of the year. (In the 1990s, the acceptance rate was more commonly around 30%.) I'm sure there were a lot of good papers that got rejected this time around.
Most networking conferences have acceptance rates around 20%. Is this a good thing? Conference competitiveness has been blogged about before, but there doesn't seem to be much of a high-level discussion about the issue -- I recently saw Ken Birman and Fred Schneier wrote an article about it for Communications of the ACM. Any ideas out there?