Articles and Bylaws of SIPTA
The SIPTA Society was created in 2002 with the aim of promoting research on imprecise probability. The following articles and bylaws, approved by the Constituting and General Meetings of the Society, outline the directives for the daily affairs of the society.
A not-for-profit organisation
Approved by the Constituting Meeting of SIPTA, 11-13 February 2002.
Amended by the General Meeting of SIPTA, 27 July 2005.
Amended by the General Meeting of SIPTA, 30 April 2009.
Amended by the General Meeting of SIPTA, 25 July 2011.
Article I - Name and Place
- This international society is named Society for Imprecise Probability: Theories and Applications (abbreviated to SIPTA, and in this document also called the Society) and is established according to articles 60 and following of the Swiss Civil Law, which govern all legal matters and possible controversies.
- The Society is headquartered at the office of the SIPTA President or Secretary or Treasurer, as determined by the SIPTA Executive Committee.
Article II - Purpose and Activities
- The Society is a not-for-profit organisation uniting private persons dealing with theories and applications of imprecise probabilities and related topics.
- The Society considers imprecise probability to be a generic term for the many mathematical models which measure chance or uncertainty without sharp numerical probabilities. It supports the view that such models are needed in inference problems where the relevant information is scarce, vague or conflicting, and in decision problems where preferences are incomplete.
- The aims of the Society are to:
- advance and promote the theories and applications of imprecise probabilities;
- disseminate and promote the idea that imprecision is an important aspect of probabilistic modelling, and that this imprecision should therefore be taken into account in realistic probabilistic models;
- promote contacts and exchange information among scientists and practitioners in different fields and from different countries interested in the theories and applications of imprecise probabilities, and coordinate their activities.
- In order to achieve these aims, the Society:
- organises a biennial series of international conferences, called International Symposium on Imprecise Probability: Theories and Applications (abbreviated to ISIPTA), and taking place every odd year;
- organises a biennial series of schools, called SIPTA School on Imprecise Probabilities (abbreviated to SIPTA School), taking place every even year;
- organises meetings and courses on topics related to imprecise probabilities;
- arranges the editing and publication of the ISIPTA proceedings, as well as scientific books in the field of imprecise probabilities;
- hosts and maintains a website that allows people interested in imprecise probabilities to communicate research and other information relevant to the Society's aims with one another and the broader community;
- delivers an electronic newsletter to its Members, as well as to the interested public;
- encourages its Members to act as (Associate) Editors for scientific journals that are interested in publishing papers on the theories and applications of imprecise probabilities.
Article III - Membership of the SIPTA
- Any person is eligible to become a Member of the Society for Imprecise Probability: Theories and Applications (abbreviated to SIPTA Member, and in this document also referred to as Member) after registering for an ISIPTA conference or a SIPTA school.
- Willingness to become Member will have to be confirmed in written, and possibly electronic, form. This will make Membership effective for four years, from the starting day of the ISIPTA conference, or the SIPTA school, for which the new member has registered.
- The SIPTA Executive Committee may also decide to grant membership to persons who have not registered for an ISIPTA conference or a SIPTA school.
- Also in this case, willingness to become Member will have to be confirmed in written, and possibly electronic, form. This will make Membership effective for four years, from the day in which the Executive Committee has notified the new Member of the decision to grant membership.
- All Members have voting rights in the SIPTA General Meeting.
- Membership can be terminated if the Member sends a letter of resignation to the SIPTA President.
Article V - Bodies of the SIPTA
- The bodies of the Society are
- the General Meeting of all Members of the Society for Imprecise Probability: Theories and Applications, also called the General Meeting of the SIPTA, in this document abbreviated to General Meeting;
- the SIPTA Executive Committee.
Article VI - General Meeting of the SIPTA
- General Meetings are held every odd year, during an ISIPTA conference, and at a location near to where the conference is being held.
- The SIPTA Executive Committee may organise the General Meeting through the means of an electronic discussion forum accessible to all the Members.
- All Members are welcome and encouraged to participate in the General Meetings.
- For the General Meeting to take decisions, there must be a quorum of at least one third of the Members.
- Members who cannot attend the General Meeting, can designate a proxy in writing to the SIPTA Secretary.
- The General Meeting:
- considers and votes for approval of the bylaws suggested by the Members, according to a simple 1/2 majority among all Members participating;
- considers and votes for approval changes and additions to the Articles suggested by the Members, according to a 2/3 majority among all Members participating;
- any proposal that requires 2/3 majority among all Members to be approved, should be notified to the SIPTA Secretary, who will inform all Members about them. This should be done at least one month prior to the General Meeting, so that all Members have time to consider the proposed changes carefully. Members that cannot be physically present at the General Meeting, can also be allowed to cast votes in writing, or electronically, before the start of the General Meeting.
Article VII - The SIPTA Executive Committee
- The SIPTA Executive Committee consists of the following members elected by the SIPTA Members from among their ranks, up to a maximum of 9 people:
- the SIPTA President;
- the SIPTA Secretary;
- the SIPTA Treasurer;
- the SIPTA Executive Editor, responsible for various parts of the web site;
- and up to 5 other SIPTA at-large Members.
- Terms of members of the SIPTA Executive Committee will be approximately two years, beginning on the first day of the ISIPTA conference that follows the elections and ending with the start of the subsequent ISIPTA conference.
- A member of the Executive Committee cannot take up more than one office.
- The SIPTA Executive Committee runs the daily affairs of the Society. It is responsible for the newsletter and the website.
- The SIPTA President, together with the Secretary and the Treasurer, handle the daily financial affairs of the Society. The Treasurer is accountable to the General Meeting, and prepares an annual financial report of the Society. This report is sent to all Members, preferably by e-mail, by the end of the year.
- The SIPTA Executive Committee decides where the next ISIPTA conference will take place. It appoints the members of the next ISIPTA’s Steering Committee.
- The SIPTA Executive Committee decides where the next SIPTA School will take place. It appoints the members of the next SIPTA School’s Organising Committee.
- The SIPTA Executive Committee may decide to appoint new SIPTA members according to a 2/3 majority of the members of the Executive Committee itself.
- The SIPTA Executive Committee, as well as other Members, may suggest bylaws in order to regulate:
- governing of the Society;
- organising the ISIPTA conferences;
- organising the SIPTA Schools on Imprecise Probabilities;
- organising and running meetings;
Article VIII - The ISIPTA Conferences
- The ISIPTA conferences take place every odd year, between June and the end of September.
- Shortly after the latest ISIPTA conference, the Steering Committee for the next ISIPTA conference is appointed by the newly elected SIPTA Executive Committee.
- The ISIPTA Steering Committee contains
- the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, who is responsible for the local organisation, the daily affairs and finances of the ISIPTA conference;
- one of the former SIPTA Presidents;
- the Programme Committee Board, consisting of the people responsible for (i) forming a Programme Committee, whose members are to review the papers submitted to the conference, (ii) supervising the paper review procedure, (iii) deciding on which papers will be accepted, and (iv) working out the scientific programme of the conference.
- Any profits derived from the organisation of the ISIPTA conferences shall go to the Society, and are to be used for covering the working costs of the Society.
- Shortly after the ISIPTA conference, the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee will present a report about its finances to the SIPTA Treasurer.
Article IX - The SIPTA Schools on Imprecise Probabilities
- The SIPTA Schools on Imprecise Probabilities take place every even year, between June and the end of September.
- Shortly after the latest SIPTA School, the Organising Committee for the next SIPTA School is appointed by the SIPTA Executive Committee.
- The SIPTA School Organising Committee at least consists of
- the Chairman, who is responsible for the organisation, the daily affairs and finances of the SIPTA School. He is also responsible for working out the scientific programme of the school;
- one of the former SIPTA Presidents.
- Any profits derived from the organisation of the SIPTA Schools shall go to the Society, and are to be used for covering the working costs of the Society.
- Shortly after the SIPTA School, the Chairman of the Organising Committee will present a report about its finances to the SIPTA Treasurer.
Article X - Circularising the Members
- The Members will receive a SIPTA Newsletter or a similar document for announcements of news about the Society. This newsletter will also be sent to non-members who have expressed an interest in receiving such newsletters.
Article XI - Liquidation
- If liquidation of the assets of the Society is necessary, the SIPTA Executive Committee is the liquidator.
- Liquidation requires approval by a 2/3 majority of the SIPTA General Meeting.
- After liquidation the remaining assets of the Society are to be devolved upon a similar not-for-profit organisation.
- The Members are not responsible nor accountable for possible debts of the Society.
Approved by the General Meeting of the Society for Imprecise Probability: Theories and Applications, 30 April 2009. Amended July 13, 2017.
Process for Conducting an Election of the SIPTA Executive Committee.
- Only SIPTA members can be candidates for the Election of the SIPTA Executive Committee. Candidacies from all Members are requested by the Executive Committee, along with a brief biographical and vision statement. The Executive Committee tries their best to get at least seven candidacies for at-large, and at least two candidacies for all other offices. Multiple nominations from an individual are acceptable.
- A Teller Committee consisting of three Members who are not standing for office will be chosen by the Executive Committee through a discussion and vote as arranged by the President (possibly done by electronic means such as email). The Executive Committee provides the Teller Committee with a list of Members and a list of candidacies along with their statements.
- The Teller Committee makes the list of candidates and their statements available online. After two weeks (to allow the Teller Committee to correct errors) the list is declared final and the Teller Committee asks all Members to cast their vote by email directed to an address provided by the Teller Committee. The Teller Committee is responsible for sending people a confirmation email that their vote is received.
- If an individual has been nominated for, and chooses to stand for, more than one office, then that individual can only be elected to one office. The top-down ranking of officers is President, Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Editor, and at-large. Election to a higher office precludes eligibility to be elected to a lower office.
- The voting process for all offices is fractional transfer STV (single transferable vote) with the Droop threshold. In case of ties, the Teller Committee contacts the tied candidates and asks them whether they can come to an agreement as to who of them should take up the office. If no agreement can be established, it is up to the discretion of the Teller Committee to find a fair way to break the tie, possibly after consultation with the Executive Committee and the tied candidates.
- The Teller Committee announces the results of the election by email to all Members.
Process for conducting an electronic General Meeting of the SIPTA.
- In addition to the procedure described in Article VI, the SIPTA Executive Committee may also organise electronic meetings of the SIPTA outside the ISIPTA conferences. In those General Meetings, bylaws suggested by the Members and changes and additions to the articles may be considered and voted, in the terms stipulated in Articles VI.3 and VI.4, with the proviso that participation in the meeting can only be done electronically.