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ICSE 2021
Sat 22 - Sun 30 May 2021 Madrid, Spain

The software industry has a long-standing and well-earned reputation for failing to deliver high-quality software. Much progress has been achieved from the early days of software development; still, nowadays, even considering the state of the art of the technologies used, the success of software projects is often not guaranteed. Many of the approaches used for developing large, complex software systems are still not able to ensure the correct behavior — and the general quality — of the delivered product, despite the efforts of the (often very qualified and skilled) software engineers involved. This is where formal methods can play a significant role. Indeed, they have been developed to provide the means for greater precision and thoroughness in modeling, reasoning about, validating, and documenting the various aspects of software systems during their development. When carefully applied, formal methods can aid all aspects of software creation: user requirement formulation, design, implementation, verification/testing, and the creation of documentation.

After decades of research though, and despite significant advancement, formal methods are still not widely used in industrial software development. We believe that a closer integration of formal methods in software engineering can help increase the quality of software applications, and at the same time highlight the benefits of formal methods in terms also of the generated return on investment (ROI).

The main objective of the conference is to foster the integration between the formal methods and the software engineering communities, to strengthen the — still too weak — links between them, and to stimulate researchers to share ideas, techniques, and results, with the ultimate goal to propose novel solutions to the fraught problem of improving the quality of software systems.

Originally a successful satellite workshop of ICSE, since 2018 FormaliSE is organized as a conference co-located with ICSE. The 9th edition of FormaliSE will be held in Madrid, Spain. The conference will be co-located with ICSE 2021.

Areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • approaches and tools for verification and validation;
  • application of formal methods to specific domains, e.g., autonomous, cyber-physical, intelligent, and IoT systems;
  • scalability of formal methods applications;
  • integration of formal methods within the software development lifecycle (e.g., change management, continuous integration and deployment);
  • requirements formalization and formal specification;
  • model-based software engineering approaches;
  • performance analysis based on formal approaches;
  • formal methods in a certification context;
  • formal approaches for safety and security-related issues;
  • usability of formal methods;
  • guidelines to use formal methods in practice;
  • case studies developed/analyzed with formal approaches;
  • experience reports on the application of formal methods to real-world problems.

Call for Papers

Submission types

We invite you to submit:

  • Full research papers that must describe authors’ original research work and results. We encourage authors to include validation with respect to a case study in the recommended themes.
  • Case study papers that should identify lessons learned, validate theoretical results (such as scalability of methods) or provide specific motivation for further research and development.
  • Research ideas: FormaliSE encourages the submissions of new research ideas in order to stimulate discussions at the conference. For the case studies, we aim at having common domains and themes, which can facilitate the exchange of ideas during the conference. While all case study subjects are accepted, we are particularly interested in the following themes: autonomous vehicles and Covid contact tracing apps.

Submission Guidelines

FormaliSE 2021 will implement the following light-weight double-blind policy: Authors of research papers must omit their names and institutions from the title page, they should refer to their other work in the third person and omit acknowledgments that could reveal their identity or affiliation. The purpose is to avoid any bias based on authors’ identity characteristics, such as gender, seniority, or nationality, in the review process. Our goal is to facilitate an unbiased approach to reviewing by supporting reviewers’ access to works that do not carry obvious references to the authors’ identities. As mentioned above, this is a light-weight double-blind process. Anonymization should not be a heavy burden for authors and should not make papers weaker or more difficult to review. Advertising the paper on alternate forums (e.g., on a personal web-page, pre-print archive, email, talks, discussions with colleagues) is permitted, and authors will not be penalized for such advertisement.

Full papers are expected to be roughly 10 pages long including all text, figures, tables, and appendices, but excluding the references (shorter papers are acceptable). However, we would like to avoid that the authors waste time fitting their papers into that limit at the expense of presentation clarity: paper lengths slightly exceeding the stated limit will be tolerated provided that the presentation is of high quality, which will be left at the appreciation of the reviewers. Research ideas papers are expected to be roughly 4 pages plus up to 1additional page of references, with the same guiding principle as for the regular papers above. All submissions must be in English and in PDF format.

Submissions must conform to the IEEE formatting instructions IEEEConference Proceedings FormattingGuidelines (title in 24pt font and full text in 10pt type). LaTeX users must use \documentclass[10pt,conference]{IEEEtran} without including the compsoc or compsocconf options. Additionally, we recommend placing the following two lines in your LaTeX source right after the \documentclass command:

\usepackage[switch,columnwise]{lineno}
\linenumbers

This adds line numbers, thereby allowing reviewers to refer to specific lines in their comments.

Papers submitted to FormaliSE 2021 must not have been published elsewhere and must not be under review or submitted for review elsewhere whilst under consideration for FormaliSE 2021.

Submissions to FormaliSE 2021 that meet the above requirements can be made via EasyChair by the submission deadline.

We would appreciate it if the authors intending to submit a paper were to inform us in advance. In particular, we invite them to submit an abstract as early as possible and, in any case, before the Abstract submission deadline below.

Selection procedure

Each paper will be reviewed by at least three program committee members. Papers will be judged on the basis of their clarity, relevance, originality, and contribution to the field.

FormaliSE 2021 will implement a light-weight rebuttal scheme: if all the reviewers of a given submission agree that a clarification from the authors regarding one specific question could move a borderline paper into the acceptable range, the chairs will ask that question to the authors by e-mail and post their reply on EasyChair for the benefit of the reviewers. The goal of such light-weight rebuttals is to eliminate“coin-toss” decisions on borderline papers. Hence, it will clearly concern only a minority of submissions and most of the authors should not expect to receive such questions. However, we would ask the corresponding authors of all submissions to make sure that they are available to answer a question by email if the necessity were to arise.

Publication

All accepted publications are published as part of the ICSE 2021Proceedings in the ACM and IEEE Digital Libraries.

At least one author of each accepted paper is required to attend the conference — physically or, if the circumstances warrant so, virtually —and present the paper in person. Otherwise, the paper will be removed from the proceedings.

Questions? Use the FormaliSE contact form.