The ninth Sawtooth Software Conference, held in Victoria, BC on September 12-14, 2001, will be forever remembered due to the tragic events of the prior day, September 11, 2001. It is ironic that we had moved the date of the conference to September 12th to avoid an earlier scheduled WTO meeting in Victoria, for fear that protests might somehow disrupt transportation to the conference. Instead, in response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and another hijacking that ended in a fatal crash in Pennsylvania, the FAA grounded all commercial flights in North America. About half our attendees had already made it to Victoria, but many were unable to leave home, and so many others were stranded in airports around the world.
We were impressed by the professionalism of those who spent those difficult days with us in Victoria. On breaks between sessions, we were riveted to the television set in the registration room, collectively shaking our heads. Marooned together, we went ahead with a successful conference. Technology came to the rescue for some speakers unable to make it, as we piped their voices into the ballroom via phone line and advanced the PowerPoint slides on the screen as they spoke. A few planned speakers were unable to deliver a presentation at all.
Due to the circumstances, no best paper award was given this year. Many were deserving, as you will discover. The papers presented in this volume are in the words of the authors, and we have performed very little copy editing. We wish to express our sincere thanks to the authors and discussants whose dedication and efforts made this very unusual 2001 Conference a success.
Some of the papers presented at this and previous conferences are available in electronic form at our Technical Papers Library on our home page: http://www.sawtoothsoftware.com.