by Darren Cofer and Alessandro Fantechi

The 13th FMICS workshop was held in L'Aquila, Italy, on 15 and 16 September 2008, co-located with ASE 2008, the 23rd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering conference. The aim of the FMICS series of workshops, yearly organized by the ERCIM FMICS Working Group, is to provide a forum for researchers who are interested in the development and application of formal methods in industry. In particular, these workshops are intended to bring together scientists and practitioners who are active in the area of formal methods and interested in exchanging their experiences in the industrial usage of these methods. These workshops also strive to promote research and development for the improvement of formal methods and tools for industrial applications.

The topics for which contributions to FMICS 2008 were solicited included, but were not restricted to, the following:

  • Design, specification, code generation and testing based on formal methods
  • Verification and validation of complex, distributed, real-time systems and embedded systems
  • Verification and validation methods that address shortcomings of existing methods with respect to their industrial applicability (eg, scalability and usability issues)
  • Tools for the development of formal design descriptions
  • Case studies and experience reports on industrial applications of formal methods, focusing on lessons learned or identification of new research directions
  • Impact of the adoption of formal methods on the development process and associated costs
  • Application of formal methods in standardization and industrial forums.

The workshop included six sessions of regular contributions in the areas of model checking, testing, software verification, real-time performance, and industrial case studies. There were also three invited presentations given by Steven Miller of Rockwell Collins, Rance Cleaveland of Reactive Systems Inc., and Werner Damm of OFFIS, covering the application of formal methods in the avionics and automotive industries.

In addition, a panel discussion was organized on the topic "Formal Methods in Commercial Software Development Tools." The panel included the three invited speakers, as well as researchers Mark Lawford and Pedro Merino. This session produced a lively discussion about current and foreseen applications of formal methods within model based development frameworks that include formal analysis and code generation methods for software design.

From left: Alessandro Fantechi, Marko van Eekelen and Pedro Merino.
From left: Alessandro Fantechi, Marko van Eekelen and Pedro Merino.

Out of the 36 contributions submitted to FMICS 2008, the Program Committee had the difficult task of selecting 14 papers for the presentation at the workshop, as well as two short presentations which served as an introduction to the panel discussion. A post-workshop proceedings volume containing revised versions of the papers presented at the workshop will be published by Springer Verlag in the Lecture Notes in Computer Science series.

A tradition of FMICS workshop is that the best presented paper receives an award from EASST, the European Association of Software Science and Technology. This year, the award was given to Marko van Eekelen from Radboud University of Nijmegen (NL) for the paper "Reentrant Readers – A Case Study Combining Model Checking with Theorem Proving," written together with Bernard van Gastel, Leonard Lensink and Sjaak Smetsers.

The award was presented by Pedro Merino, FMICS Working Group coordinator from November 2005 to November 2008, and Alessandro Fantechi, one of the chairs of the 2008 workshop and new FMICS Working Group coordinator (see photo).

More information:

Please contact:
Alessandro Fantechi
ERCIM FMICS Working Group chair
Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Italy

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