I wouldn’t infer the number without looking at a specific example to see why the numbering has been dropped.
We wouldn’t automatically prefer a fuller form. In the first instance, we would prefer the form found in the preferred sources of information, which could be either the full form or the abbreviated form.
As to whether to include the number in the acronymic access point, this was clearer with AACR2/LCRI, where we would have given the name as “PuppyCon 2017”, and omitted the number, as it’s not the 23rd conference called “PuppyCon 2017”. In RDA we are omitting the date from the name, so arguably it *is* the 23rd conference called “PuppyCon” (whether as a 111 or a 411). If I try very hard to forget AACR2/RDA, then I concede that it is probably correct to include the number.
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I am unable to find guidance in RDA 11.6 or the policy statement thereto on the following question: when a conference starts out numbered but subsequently drops its numbering, do we supply numbering in the AAP based on inference (to make it file correctly), or do we drop it (because numbering no longer identifies the conference)?
Another way of putting it: 188.8.131.52 says, take conference numbering from any source. Does any source include “the pattern established by previous editions of the proceedings”?
A related question: it’s not uncommon for conferences, in STEM at least, to have two names: a full form (e.g. 23rd International Conference on Cute Puppies 2017) and an acronym or abbreviated form (PuppyCon 2017). In these cases, we prefer the fuller form. But do we qualify the shorter form in the 4xx with numbering taken from the fuller form? Is the 4xx PuppyCon (2017 : Atlanta, Georgia) or PuppyCon (23rd : 2017 : Atlanta, Georgia).
If this has already been discussed here my apologies. A search of the PCC list archives did not bring up anything.
Acquisitions & Discovery Enhancement