Thursday, 9 September 2010

TAP 2011, Zurich

I have been invited to serve on the Program Committee of TAP 2011, the 5th International Conference on Tests & Proofs, to be held in Zurich, Switzerland, June 30 - July 1, 2011.

The TAP conference is devoted to the convergence of proofs and tests. It combines ideas from both sides for the advancement of software quality.

We had a paper at TAP 2009 on concolic execution of distributed systems (see my conference papers).

To prove the correctness of a program is to demonstrate, through impeccable mathematical techniques, that it has no bugs; to test a program is to run it with the expectation of discovering bugs. The two techniques seem contradictory: if you have proved your program, it's fruitless to comb it for bugs; and if you are testing it, that is surely a sign that you have given up on any hope to prove its correctness.

Accordingly, proofs and tests have, since the onset of software engineering research, been pursued by distinct communities using rather different techniques and tools.

And yet the development of both approaches leads to the discovery of common issues and to the realization that each may need the other. The emergence of model checking has been one of the first signs that contradiction may yield to complementarity, but in the past few years an increasing number of research efforts have encountered the need for combining proofs and tests, dropping earlier dogmatic views of incompatibility and taking instead the best of what each of these software engineering domains has to offer.

The conference will include a mix of invited and submitted presentation, and a generous allocation of panels and informal discussions. All papers will be published in Springer's LNCS series.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

ICTAC 2011, Johannesburg

I have been invited to serve on the Program Committee of ICTAC 2011 to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 31 August to 2 September 2011.
ICTAC 2011 is the 8th International Colloquium on Theoretical Aspects of Computing, the latest in a series founded by the International Institute for Software Technology of the United Nations University (UNU-IIST). ICTAC brings together practitioners and researchers to present their research and to exchange ideas and experience addressing challenges in both theoretical aspects of computing and in the exploitation of theory through methods and tools for system development.

SEFM 2011, Montevideo, Uruguay

I have been invited to serve on the Program Committee of SEFM 2011, the 9th IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering and Formal Methods. SEFM 2011 will take place in Montevideo, Uruguay, end of November 2011. The PC-chairs are Gilles Barthe and Gerardo Schneider.
The aim of the conference is to bring together practitioners and researchers from academia, industry and government to advance the state of the art in formal methods, to facilitate their uptake in the software industry and to encourage their integration with practical engineering methods. Papers that combine formal methods and software engineering are especially welcome.
I served as a PC-Cochair for SEFM 2005. For information on the past SEFM conferences visit the general SEFM webpage.

SCENARIOS 2011, Berlin

Photo: Ishtar Gate, Pergamon Museum, Berlin 2010.
I have been invited to serve on the Program Committee of SCENARIOS 2011, the 1st international workshop on Scenario-Based Testing . SCENARIOS 2011 is a satellite worksop of ICST 2011 to be held in Berlin, Germany, March 2011.

Nowadays, more and more techniques rely on human intervention so as to ensure the applicability of testing approaches. Indeed, a trade-off has to be found between the relevance of the test cases (requiring strong human intervention) and automation. Scenario-Based Testing addresses this issue by looking for more automation, with human intervention restricted to insightful activities. Over the years, different scenario based testing techniques have been developed to assist the validation engineer, using textual scenarios such as regular expressions, graphical notations such as UML interaction diagrams or test purposes specified as transitions systems. All these techniques represent an efficient solution to the state space explosion problem by restricting the possible executions of the system to a limited, and hopefully more accurate, subset of admissible traces. In addition, they make it possible to capture the human expertise for testing specific situations that can not be targeted by a systematic model coverage approach.

This first edition of the workshop on Scenario-Based Testing aims at gathering ideas and techniques in the area of semi-automated testing. It is intended to assess the effectiveness of available techniques and promote original research ideas that can be concretized into an industrial context.

MBT 2011, April 2-3, 2011, Saarbruecken, Germany

I have been invited to serve on the Program Committee of MBT 2011, the 7th Workshop on Model-Based Testing. MBT 2011 is a satellite worksop of ETAPS 2011 to be held in Saarbr├╝cken, Germany.

The workshop is devoted to model-based testing of both software and hardware. Model-based testing is closely related to model-based specification. Models are used to describe the behavior of the system under consideration and to guide such efforts as test selection and test results evaluation. Both testing and verification are used to validate models against the requirements and check that the implementation conforms to the specification model.

Model-based testing has gained attention with the popularization of models in software/hardware design and development. Of particular importance are formal models with precise semantics, such as state-based formalisms. Testing with such models allows one to measure the degree of the product's conformance with the model.

Techniques to support model-based testing are drawn from diverse areas, like formal verification, model checking, control and data flow analysis, grammar analysis, and Markov decision processes.

The intent of this workshop is to bring together researchers and users of models for to discuss the state of the art in theory, applications, tools, and industrialization of model-based specification, testing and verification.

Original submissions are solicited from industry and academia. They are invited to present their work, plans, and views related to model-based testing. The topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Online and offline test sequence generation methods and tools
  • Test data selection methods and tools
  • Runtime verification
  • Model-based test coverage metrics
  • Automatic domain/partition analysis
  • Combination of verification and testing
  • Models as test oracles
  • Scenario based test generation
  • Meta programming support for testing
  • Formalisms suitable for model-based testing
  • Application of model checking techniques in model-based testing
  • Game-theoretic approaches to testing
  • Model-based testing in industry: problems and achievements