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The 1st IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automation of Software Test

The increasing complexity, pervasiveness and inter-connection of software systems on the one hand, and the ever-shrinking development cycles and time-to-market on the other, make the automation of software test (AST) an urgent requirement today more than ever. Despite significant achievements both in theory and practice, AST remains a challenging research area.

Successfully held at ICSE since 2006, the AST series offers researchers and practitioners a dynamic and interactive forum for exchanging ideas, problems and experiences, for presenting timely promising solutions and sharing visions. After running 14 editions as an ICSE workshop, in 2020 AST transforms itself into the format of a co-located conference to provide more space and opportunity for discussions, and obtain increased visibility of results.

We look forward to welcoming you at the 1st AST conference in Seoul!


Sponsors and Supporters


Call for Papers

The increasing complexity, pervasiveness and inter-connection of software systems on the one hand, and the ever-shrinking development cycles and time-to-market on the other, make the automation of software test (AST) an urgent requirement today more than ever. Despite significant achievements both in theory and practice, AST remains a challenging research area.

Conference Theme

The AST 2020 conference theme is “Who tests the tests?”.

In software test automation, test code is written and maintained. It is generally accepted that disciplined procedures and quality standards should be applied in application development and coding.

However, somehow we do not demand the same rigour for the test code developed for testing those applications. Several recent empirical studies point out how tests are affected by many problems, bugs, unjustified assumptions, hidden dependencies from other tests or environment, flakiness, and performance issues. Because of such problems, test effectiveness is impacted and several false alarms are raised in regression testing that increase the test costs. The problem of unreliable test code is exacerbated in modern continuous integration and DevOps practices, demanding for fast fully automated recycling of test executions.

We invite contributions that focus on: i) getting a better understanding of the dimensions and characteristics of problems with unreliable, low-quality, test code; ii) automatically identifying test code smells or bugs; iii) providing solutions to prevent test bugs and test flakiness; and iv) improving the quality of test code.

Topic of Interest

Submissions on the AST 2020 theme are especially encouraged, but papers on other topics relevant to the automation of software test are also welcome.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Test automation of large, complex system
  • Metrics for testing - test efficiency, test coverage
  • Tools for model-based V&V
  • Test-driven development
  • Standardization of test tools
  • Test coverage metrics and criteria
  • Product line testing
  • Formal methods and theories for testing and test automation
  • Test case generation based on formal and semi-formal models
  • Testing with software usage models
  • Testing of reactive and object-oriented systems
  • Software simulation by models, forecasts of behavior and properties
  • Application of model checking in testing
  • Tools for security specification, models, protocols, testing and evaluation
  • Theoretical foundations of test automation
  • Models as test oracles; test validation with models
  • Testing anomaly detectors
  • Testing cyber physical systems

We are interested in the following aspects related to AST:

  1. Problem identification. Analysis and specification of requirements for AST, and elicitation of problems that hamper wider adoption of AST
  2. Methodology. Novel methods and approaches for AST in the context of up-to-date software development methodologies
  3. Technology. Automation of various test techniques and methods for test-related activities, as well as for testing various types of software
  4. Tools and Environments. Issues and solutions in the development, operation, maintenance and evolution of tools and environments for AST, and their integration with other types of tools and runtime support platforms
  5. Empirical studies, and Experience reports, and Industrial Contributions. Real experiences in using automated testing techniques, methods and tools in industry
  6. Visions of the future. Foresight and thought-provoking ideas for AST that can inspire new powerful research trends.

Three types of submissions are invited:

  • Regular Papers (up to 10 pages)
    • Research Paper
    • Industrial Case Study
  • Short Papers (up to 4 pages)
    • Research Paper
    • Industrial Case Study
    • Doctoral Student Research
  • Industrial Abstracts (up to 2 pages)

Regular papers include both Research papers that present research in the area of software test automation, and Industrial Case Studies that report on practical applications of test automation.

Regular papers must not exceed 10 pages for all materials (including the main text, appendices, figures, tables, and references).

Short papers also include both Research papers and Industrial Case Studies.

Short papers must not exceed 4 pages for all materials.

As short papers, doctoral students working on software testing are encouraged to submit their work. AST will have an independent session to bring doctoral students working on software testing, with experts assigned to each paper together, to discuss their research in a constructive and international atmosphere, and to prepare for defense exam. The first author in a submission must be the doctoral student and the second author the advisor. Authors of selected submissions will be invited to make a brief presentation followed by a constructive discussion in a session dedicated to doctoral students.

Industrial abstract talks are specifically conceived to promote industrial participation: We require the first author of such papers to come from industry. Authors of accepted papers get invited to give a talk with same time length and within same sessions as regular papers. Industrial abstracts must not exceed 2 pages for all materials.

The submission website is: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ast2020

The format of the papers must follow the ACM formatting guidelines (https://www.acm.org/publications/proceedings-template) both for LaTEX and Word users. LaTEX users must use the provided acmart.cls and ACM-Reference-Format.bst without modification, enable the conference format in the preamble of the document (i.e., \documentclass[sigconf,review]{acmart}),and use the ACM reference format for the bibliography (i.e., \bibliographystyle{ACM-Reference-Format}).

Purchases of additional pages in the proceedings is not allowed.

Submissions must be unpublished original work and should not be under review or submitted elsewhere while being under consideration.

The accepted regular and short papers, case studies, and industrial abstracts will be published in the ICSE 2020 Co-located Event Proceedings and included in the IEEE and ACM Digital Libraries. Authors of accepted papers are required to register and present their accepted paper at the conference in order for the paper to be included in the proceedings and the Digital Libraries.

The official publication date is the date the proceedings are made available in the ACM or IEEE Digital Libraries.

This date may be up to two weeks prior to the first day of ICSE 2020. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work.