Doctoral Symposium

The ISSTA Doctoral Symposium is a forum for PhD students working in the area of software testing and analysis to present their research goals, methods, and preliminary results, obtaining feedback from senior researchers of the software testing and analysis scientific community, in a constructive and friendly atmosphere.

Participants will obtain useful guidance for the completion of their dissertation research and initiation of a research career in software testing and analysis.

Prospective student participants should be at a stage in their research where they have already identified a research topic, but they are at least 6 months prior to dissertation completion.

Participants will be selected based on a 4-page (in ACM conference format) paper describing their proposed thesis research. The paper should provide a description of the problem their research intends to address, a focused description of the proposed research, including a statement of their hypotheses, a description of their approach and evaluation plans, their positioning with respect to the state of the art and the expected improvements and benefits.

You can check your submission via the Doctoral Symposium submission website.

The ISSTA 2013 Doctoral Symposium will be held on Monday July 15th, 2013, the day before the start of the ISSTA main conference, in Lugano, Switzerland. The symposium will be closed-door, with participation restricted to the PhD students taking part in the symposium and the members of the ISSTA 2013 Doctoral Symposium committee.

PhD students taking part in the symposium will have a unique opportunity to describe their research ideas and receive comments and suggestions from experienced researchers in the field.

The ISSTA Doctoral Symposium will be coordinated with the TAROT Summer School (9th International Summer School on Training And Research On Testing). Special arrangements will be made to encourage and support participation of PhD students to both the events. More information on the coordination of the two events will be published shortly on both Web sites.

The TAROT Summer School will be held the week before ISSTA in Volterra, Italy. Among other facilities, we plan to organize a bus transfer service from Volterra to simplify the trip to Lugano. Special registration fees will be also available for students participating in both events.

Doctoral Symposium will take place in room A22 on the 2nd floor of the Red Building.



  Monday July 15th


Tao Xie (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)

PhD-Program Preparation for Successful Post-PhD Career (slides available here)

10:30 Break

Session 1: Temporal properties and concurrency

Sangmin Park. Debugging Non-deadlock Concurrency Bugs.

Simone Hanazumi and Ana de Melo. Generation of Java Programs Properties from Test Purposes.

12:30 Lunch

Session 2: Performance and databases

Teodora Sandra Buda. Generation of Test Databases Using Sampling Methods.

Shadi Ghaith. Analysis of Performance Regression Testing Data by Transaction Profiles.

15:30 Break

Session 3: Formal verification

Thomas Thüm. Product-Line Verification with Feature-Oriented Contracts

Andrea Bonacchi. Formal safety proof: a real case study in a Railway Interlocking System.



Doctoral Symposium Committee

Paolo Tonella (Chair), Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy
Benoit Baudry, INRIA, France
Antonia Bertolino, ISTI-CNR, Italy
Mary Jean Harrold, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Lori Pollock, University of Delaware, USA
Abhik Roychoudhury, National University of Singapore, Singapore


Keynote Speaker:

Tao Xie (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)


PhD-Program Preparation for Successful Post-PhD Career .


It is valuable for PhD students to think ahead on what kinds of career paths the students intend to seek and what kinds of skills such career paths would require the students to have. This talk will discuss important skills that a PhD researcher is typically expected to attain: Assessment, Vision, Design, Execution, and Communication (in short as AVDEC) skills. This talk will also discuss lessons learned from experiences of the speaker along with other researchers, in terms of how to prepare for successful post-PhD career. More advice materials can be found at

Short bio:

Tao Xie is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA since July 2013. Before then, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Washington in 2005, advised by David Notkin. He has worked as a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research Redmond and Microsoft Research Asia. His research interests are in software engineering, focusing on software testing, program analysis, and software analytics. He has served as the ACM SIGSOFT History Liaison in the SIGSOFT Executive Committee as well as a member of the ACM History Committee (ACM History SGB Liaison). He received an NSF CAREER Award in 2009. He received a 2011 Microsoft Research Software Engineering Innovation Foundation (SEIF) Award, 2008, 2009, and 2010 IBM Faculty Awards, and a 2008 IBM Jazz Innovation Award. His homepage is at