SIGSOFT Annual Report

July 2010 - June 2011

Submitted by: David Rosenblum, SIGSOFT Chair

SIGSOFT had another excellent year, both technically and financially in 2010-11. This report provides a summary of key SIGSOFT activities over the past year.


SIGSOFT has a large awards program that recognises the many achievements of the software engineering community.

Our prestigious service, research and education awards were presented again this year at ICSE 2011 in Hawaii. The ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Service Award was presented to Jeff Kramer, in recognition of his many years of service to ICSE (including General Co-Chair of ICSE 2010, Program Co-Chair of ICSE 1999, and member and chair of the ICSE Steering Committee), as well as his service to the leading archival journals in software engineering (including Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering and Associate Editor of ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology). The ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award was presented to Mary Shaw and David Garlan for their work on the development and promotion of software architecture. As is customary for this award, Mary and David will have the opportunity to deliver a keynote address about their work at ESEC/FSE 2011 in Hungary. Finally, the ACM SIGSOFT Influential Educator Award was presented to Ian Sommerville, who is the author of probably the most widely used general textbook in software engineering (currently in its 9th edition) as well as co-author of two texts on requirements engineering and the Director of the Graduate Academy of the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance.

At ICSE we also recognised new ACM Senior Members, ACM Distinguished Members and ACM Fellows for 2010 from the SIGSOFT community. The new ACM Senior Members are Jeffrey C. Carver (University of Alabama), Kevin Daimi (University of Detroit Mercy), Glenn D. House, Sr. (2Is Inc.), Chang Liu (Ohio University), Andrian Marcus (Wayne State University), Sudarshan Murthy (Wipro Technologies), Martin P. Robillard (McGill University), Joseph P. Skudlarek (Cypress Semiconductor Corp.), Colin Smythe (Dunelm Services Limited) and Jayakanth Srinivasan (MIT). Linda M. Northrop (SEI, Carnegie Mellon University) was recognised as a new ACM Distinguished Engineer, while the new ACM Distinguished Scientists are Donald D. Cowan (University of Waterloo), Gail C. Murphy (University of British Columbia), Lori L. Pollock (University of Delaware), Walter F. Tichy (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology). Finally, the new ACM Fellows are Dieter Rombach (for contributions to empirical software engineering research and its successful application to industrial practice), David Rosenblum (for contributions to software testing and distributed systems, and for service to the software engineering community) and Andreas Zeller (for contributions to automated debugging, and to mining software archives).

The SIGSOFT Impact Paper Award recognizes a paper published in a SIGSOFT conference at least 10 years earlier that has had exceptional impact on research or practice. The 2010 SIGSOFT Impact Paper Award committee, led by David Notkin, selected the paper "Bandera: Extracting Finite-State Models from Java Source Code" by James C. Corbett, Matthew B. Dwyer, John Hatcliff, Shawn Laubach, Corina S. PÃsÃreanu, Robby, and Hongjun Zheng, from the Proceedings of ICSE 2000. Accepting the award at FSE 2010 were Matt, John and Corina, who gave a keynote presentation reflecting on the origins and impact of their paper.

We also presented Retrospective Impact Paper Awards to papers from the first 23 years of SIGSOFT's history of conference sponsorship. Michal Young chaired the selection committee, which selected the following four papers:

Thomas Reps and Tim Teitelbaum. "The Synthesizer Generator". In Proc. First ACM SIGSOFT/SIGPLAN Software Engineering Symposium on Practical Software Development Environments (Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 23-25 April 1984).

Karl J. Ottenstein and Linda M. Ottenstein. "The Program Dependence Graph in a Software Development Environment". In Proc. First ACM SIGSOFT/SIGPLAN Software Engineering Symposium on Practical Software Development Environments (Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 23-25 April 1984).

Robert Balzer. "Tolerating Inconsistency". In Proc. 13th International Conference on Software Engineering (Austin, TX, USA, 13-17 May 1991).

David Lorge Parnas. "Software Aging". In Proc. 16th International Software Engineering Conference (Sorrento, Italy, 16-21 May 1994).

And many of our sponsored meetings this year presented ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Awards to the authors of a select number of their accepted papers.


The problems and topics addressed in the papers presented at SIGSOFT meetings remain tremendously varied and timely. As in many other fields, analysis of large data sets is seeing increased interest, with relevant data sets in software engineering being code repositories, version histories, bug reports and fixes, and their interrelationships. Related to this is the increasing use of statistical analysis and reasoning in software engineering, including the application of data mining and machine learning techniques. Testing and analysis remain the predominant areas of research interest, with increasing numbers of papers exploring approaches that combine static and dynamic analysis for fault detection, fault localisation and even automated fault removal. And researchers are also targeting more specialised forms of software such as Web-based systems, software for multicore processors and software for clouds.


This year we established our first SIGSOFT chapter, the India Chapter of SIGSOFT (ISOFT). This effort was spearheaded by our India Liaison, Pankaj Jalote, and it will serve an important and active segment of the global software engineering community.

Also this year, at ICSE 2011 we continued our support for two established student programs, the Student Contest on Software Engineering (SCORE) and the ACM Student Research Competition (SRC). These programs serve to recognise significant achievements of student members of the community and to provide stronger integration of students with professional attendees at our sponsored meetings.

SIGSOFT will be a significant participant and supporter at ACM's Turing celebrations in 2012. Our efforts for this are being led by Carlo Ghezzi, Mark Grechanik and Will Tracz.

And this year we obtained approval for a new award, the ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, for outstanding PhD dissertations in the field of software engineering. We expect to be making our first award in the coming year.


Through the efforts of our History Liaison, Tao Xie, SIGSOFT continues to provide valuable resources to the community documenting the history of our field and the people involved in that history. This year we released the SIGSOFT Community Directory (SIGSOFT-CD,, which provides an alphabetical listing of ACM SIGSOFT officers, ACM officers from the SIGSOFT community, General Chairs and Program Chairs of SIGSOFT-sponsored meetings, recipients of SIGSOFT-related awards, and other such contributors to our community.

We also continued our outreach to the community through our increasing presence in social media outlets, and we have an entry in Wikipedia as well. And there was a significant change this year to SEWORLD, the SIGSOFT-hosted email list announcing calls for participation, faculty and postdoc positions and other events to the software engineering community: After nearly two decades of tireless management and moderation of the list, Alexander Wolf decided to retire from his SEWORLD responsibilities. The list is now being managed by Jim Vallino and Mike Lutz at Rochester Institute of Technology.

As in past years, we made numerous awards to support travel by PhD students to SIGSOFT-sponsored meetings, under our CAPS Conference Attendance Program for Students (CAPS). We also continued to make CAPS awards to undergraduates and provided awards for childcare support at conferences. Regrettably we were unable once again to identify a suitable recipient this year from the SIGSOFT community for the SIGBED/SIGSOFT Frank Anger Memorial Award.


Conference finance remains the key challenge for SIGSOFT, particularly for the volunteers who organise its sponsored meetings, and ultimately for its membership who pay the registration fees for those meetings. Operating and venue costs for conferences continue to soar, but the effects of the global economic downturn seem to have softened somewhat this past year, since our meetings enjoyed an increase in contributions from companies and other external supporters. In addition, meeting organisers are finding ever more creative ways to keep costs and registration fees down while still providing a rich and rewarding experience for attendees, with the high quality programs, benefits, amenities and activities they have come to expect.