The 5th FAACS @ ECSA 2021


The 5th edition of the international workshop on Formal Approaches for Advanced Computing Systems (FAACS 2021) is co-located with the 15th European Conference on Software Architecture (ECSA). This year the workshop will be focusing on formal approaches for AI-based systems. It will be held virtually September TBD, 2021.

Important dates (extended)

  • Submission deadline: June 25, 2021 July 4, 2021
  • Notification: July 16, 2021 July 23, 2021
  • Workshop papers (CEUR) camera-ready: July 29, 2021
  • Workshop: TBD
  • Post-proceedings (LNCS) due: TBD

Motivation and Scope

Advanced computing systems are increasingly adopted to generate productivity gains, improve well-being and help experts to address challenges in various application domains, including mobility, healthcare, cyber-security, industrial robots, autonomous vehicles, cloud-based services, and IoT. Such systems often operate in dynamic, highly complex, partially observable environments and they are affected by external uncertainty as well as internal uncertainty, very often due to “intelligent” and “learning” components that are becoming established and effective for making predictions, recommendations or decisions that influence the surroundings. As a consequence, the design and development of these systems require proper approaches, methodologies, abstractions and architectural design solutions integrating together heterogeneous elements such as networking, computation, engineered physical elements, AI/ML components, and human beings into complex ecosystems. Assuring dependability, trustworthiness and other important qualities of such systems yield challenges that call for novel and formal approaches to system design, development, validation, and verification. Indeed, an unexpected exposure of users to unwanted behaviors, such as threats to confidentiality or even financial or health danger, is highly undesirable.

The goal of the workshop is to foster integration between formal methods and software architectures, which allows for promoting new connections and synergies between the two research communities. An integrated research will help them address the challenges of the upcoming generation of advanced computing systems in the modern digital society.

Topics of Interest

We especially encourage contributions describing application of formal approaches to engineering AI-based systems.

Besides the special interest of this edition, the call is open to all the areas reported below and applied to engineer advanced systems in different contexts and domains (e.g., IoT, robotic systems, cyber-physical systems, autonomic computing, service-based systems, reconfigurable and self-adaptive systems, mobile and cloud applications). Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • requirements formalization and formal specification
  • formal/semi-formal architecture design, validation and verification, quality analysis and evaluation
  • architecture description languages and metamodels
  • architectural patterns, styles and tactics, view-points and views
  • architecture transformation and refinement, architecture based synthesis
  • integration of formal/semi-formal methods and architecture-centric software engineering
  • software architecture tactics to integrate formal methods
  • formal methods applied to software architecture
  • model-driven engineering
  • approaches and tools for verification and validation
  • performance analysis based on formal approaches
  • compliance assurance using formal methods
  • reports on practical experience in the application of formal methods to industrial case studies


Submissions must follow the two-column CEUR-ART style (download template). All papers should be submitted before the submission deadline (see below) using the online submission site: EasyChair FAACS 2021 Workshop.

We solicit the following contribution types:

  • Regular papers (from 8 to 10 pages including references): original research contributions, case studies, or report onwork or experiences in industry.
  • Short papers (5 pages including references): work-in-progress, new and disruptive ideas, techniques and/or tools (or extensions) not fully validated yet.

Submit via Easychair

Publication and proceedings

ECSA 2021 will use a two-step process for workshop proceedings. Online proceedings (available before the start of the conference) will include all the accepted papers (5 to 10 pages) of the workshops and will be published at CEUR (http://ceur-ws.org). After the conference, we will organise post-proceedings of selected and extended papers of workshops that will be published in a Springer LNCS volume (16 to 18 pages). Workshop papers submitted for the post-proceedings will undergo an additional review cycle.


Important dates (extended)

  • Abstract deadline: June 21, 2021 July 4, 2021
  • Submission deadline: June 25, 2021 July 23, 2021
  • Notification: July 23, 2021
  • Workshop papers (CEUR) camera-ready: July 29, 2021
  • Workshop: TBD
  • Post-proceedings (LNCS) due: TBD


September 14, 2021 virtual event

Joint program with MDE4SA:

  • 15:00 - 15:15 Opening (Diego Perez-Palacin and Ludovico Iovino)
  • 15:15 - 16:15 Session 1 (chair: Matteo Camilli)
  • Invited talk: "Exploiting system parameters to test and debug autonomous driving systems" by Paolo Arcaini, National Institute of Informatics, Japan
  • 16:15 - 16:30 Break
  • 16:30 - 18:00 Session 2 (chair: Amleto Di Salle)
  • 16:30 - 17:00 Paper #1: Scenario-based Resilience Evaluation and Improvement of Microservice Architectures: an Experience Report. Authors: Sebastian Frank, Alireza Hakamian, Lion Wagner, Dominik Kesim, Jóakim von Kistowski, and André van Hoorn
  • 17:00 - 17:30 Paper #2: Ensuring threat-model assumptions by using static code analyses Authors: Johannes Geismann, Bastian Haverkamp, and Eric Bodden
  • 17:30 - 18:00 Paper #3: Towards Holistic Modeling of Microservice Architectures Using LEMMA Authors: Florian Rademacher, Jonas Sorgalla, Philip Wizenty, and Simon Trebbau
  • 18:00 - 18:10 Wrap up (chair: Alessio Bucaioni)

Invited Speaker: Paolo Arcaini

Paolo Arcaini

Bio: Paolo Arcaini is project associate professor at the National Institute of Informatics (NII), Japan. He received a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Milan, Italy, in 2013. Before joining NII, he held an assistant professor position at Charles University, Czech Republic. His main research interests are related to search-based testing, fault-based testing, model-based testing, and automatic repair. His current research in the ERATO Metamathematics for Systems Design (MMSD) project is related to the testing and debugging of autonomous driving systems. More info at https://group-mmm.org/~arcaini/

Title:Exploiting system parameters to test and debug Autonomous Driving Systems

Abstract: Autonomous Driving Systems (ADSs) are safety-critical systems, whose testing is of paramount importance. However, ADS testing raises several challenges that are specific of the domain. Indeed, typical testing activities performed for software programs are not directly applicable to ADSs; first, defining a sufficiency testing criterion that targets all the different types of ADS behaviours is challenging; moreover, there is no proper oracle that can always specify the desired, correct behaviour. In this talk, we review a series of works that we proposed to target these challenges for a particular ADS, the path planner provided by our industry partner. The path planner decides which path to follow through a cost function that uses parameters to assign a cost to the driving characteristics (e.g., lateral acceleration or speed) that must be applied in the path. These parameters implicitly describe the behaviour of the path planner. We present how we have exploited this idea for defining a coverage criterion and a corresponding test generator, for automatically specifying an oracle, and for doing fault localization.

Program co-chairs

Program committee

  • Sanaa Alwidian, University of Ottawa, Canada
  • Paolo Arcaini, National Institute of Informatics, Japan
  • Georg Buchgeher, Software Competence Center Hagenberg, Austria
  • Radu Calinescu, University of York, UK
  • Stephanie Challita, University of Rennes, France
  • Javier Cámara, University of York, UK
  • Stefan Hallerstede, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Einar Broch Johnsen, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Sungwon Kang, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea
  • Anastasia Mavridou, NASA Ames Research Center, USA
  • Claudio Menghi, University of Luxemburg, Luxemburg
  • José Merseguer, University of Zaragoza, Spain
  • Henry Muccini, University of L'Aquila, Italy
  • Jose Ignacio Requeno, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
  • Pedro Ribeiro, University of York, UK
  • Elvinia Riccobene, University of Milan, Italy
  • Lionel Seinturier, University of Lille, France
  • paola Spoletini, Kennesaw State University, USA
  • Catia Trubiani, Gran Sasso Science Institute, Italy
  • Christos Tsigkanos, Vienna University of Technology, Austria

Steering committee