Call for Papers

 

Overview
The software industry needs tools and methods 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 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 organised as a conference co-located with ICSE. FormaliSE 2022 will take place on May 22-23 2022 in Pittsburgh, PA (or online).

Topics of interest
Areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • approaches, methods and tools for verification and validation;
  • correctness-by-construction approaches for software and systems engineering;
  • application of formal methods to specific domains, e.g., autonomous, cyber-physical, intelligent, and IoT systems;
  • formal methods for AI-based systems (FM4AI), and AI applied in formal method approaches (AI4FM);
  • 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;
  • analysis of performance and other non-functional properties based on formal approaches;
  • formal methods in a certification context;
  • formal approaches for safety and security;
  • 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.

 

Submission types
We invite you to submit:

  • Full research papers that describe authors’ original research work and results. We encourage authors to include validation with respect to a case study in the recommended themes. We welcome research papers focusing on tools and tool development.
  • Case study papers that 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 submission of new research ideas in order to stimulate discussions at the conference.

 

Artifact Evaluation (NEW)
Reproducibility of experimental results is crucial to foster an atmosphere of trustworthy, open, and reusable research. To improve and reward reproducibility, FormaliSE 2022 for the first time includes a dedicated Artifact Evaluation (AE) procedure. An artifact is any additional material (software, data sets, machine-checkable proofs, etc.) that substantiates the claims made in the paper and ideally makes them fully reproducible. Submission of an artifact is optional but encouraged for all papers where it can support the results presented in the paper. Artifacts will be reviewed concurrently with the paper reviewing process, and the results of the evaluation may be taken into consideration for the corresponding paper acceptance decision. Accepted papers with a successfully evaluated artifact will receive a badge to be shown on the published paper's title page. All papers with an evaluated and publicly archived artifact with a DOI may be allowed one extra page in the camera-ready version to describe the artifact.

Submission guidelines
FormaliSE 2022 will implement the following **light-weight double-blind policy**: Authors of research papers must omit their names and institutions from the title page, refer to their other work in the third person, and omit acknowledgements 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., via a personal web-page, preprint archive, email, talks, discussions with colleagues) is permitted, and authors will not be penalized for such advertisement.

Full papers are expected to be up to 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 4 pages plus up to 1 additional page of references**, with the same guiding principle as for the regular papers above. All submissions must be in English and in PDF format.

All submissions must conform to the ACM formatting guidelines. Formatting instructions are available at https://www.acm.org/publications/proceedings-template for both 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}). The review option adds line numbers, thereby allowing referees to refer to specific lines in their comments.

Papers submitted to FormaliSE 2022 must not have been published elsewhere and must not be under review or submitted for review elsewhere whilst under consideration for FormaliSE 2022.

Submissions to FormaliSE 2022 that meet the above requirements can be made via EasyChair at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=formalise2022.

Artifact submissions are not subject to the double-blind submission requirement since it is in most cases infeasible to properly anonymize an artifact. Note that the paper corresponding to an artifact must still follow the double-blind submissions requirements described above. Artifacts will be handled by a separate Artifact Evaluation Committee, and the Artifact Evaluation process will be set up such that the anonymization of the corresponding papers will not be compromised.

Detailed guidelines for preparation and submission of artifacts will be specified on a dedicated web page reachable via http://www.formalise.org/.

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 2022 will implement **a light-weight rebuttal scheme**: if all the reviewers of a given submission agree that a clarification from the authors regarding a 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*.

Artifacts will be assessed with respect to their consistency with the results presented in the paper, their completeness, and their documentation and ease of use. The Artifact Evaluation will include an initial check for technical issues; authors of artifacts may be contacted by e-mail within the first two weeks after artifact submission to help resolve any technical problems that prevent the evaluation of an artifact if necessary.

Publication
All accepted publications are published as part of the ICSE 2022 Proceedings 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.