SIGSOFT Annual Report

July 2011 - June 2012

Submitted by: David Rosenblum, SIGSOFT Chair

SIGSOFT had another excellent year, both technically and financially in 2011 - 12. This report provides a summary of key SIGSOFT activities over the past year.


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

Our prestigious service, research and education awards were presented again this year at ICSE 2012 in Zurich. The ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Service Award was presented to Alexander L. Wolf (Imperial College London), in recognition of his extensive service to the software engineering community through the many roles he has filled at ACM (including SIGSOFT Vice Chair and Chair, SIG Governing Board Chair, Software Systems Award Chair, ACM Secretary - Treasurer, and ACM Vice President), as well as and his founding of the SEWORLD email list and his service for the leading conferences and archival journals in software engineering (including ICSE 2000 Program Co - Chair and Associate Editor of ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology and IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering). The ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award was presented to Lori A. Clarke (University of Massachusetts at Amherst) for her research on many key techniques for software testing and analysis, including pioneering work on symbolic execution for test generation, data flow test adequacy criteria, and data flow analysis for software validation. As is customary for this award, Lori will have the opportunity to deliver a keynote address about her work at FSE 2012 in Cary, North Carolina, USA, in November 2012. Finally, the ACM SIGSOFT Influential Educator Award was presented to two recipients this year. The first recipient was Mehdi Jazayeri (University of Lugano), who is the author of several influential textbooks in software engineering in programming languages, and who designed a highly innovative project - based undergraduate curriculum as Founding Dean of the Faculty of Informatics at the University of Lugano. The second recipient was David Notkin (University of Washington), who has an outstanding record of producing top - quality PhDs, many of whom have become leaders in the software engineering community.

At ICSE we also recognized new ACM Senior Members, ACM Distinguished Members and ACM Fellows for 2010 from the SIGSOFT community. The new ACM Senior Members are Frederico de Sousa Santos (IBM), David Mack Endres (Schlumberger Information Solutions), Aaron Greenhouse (SureLogic, Inc.), Naveed Ikram (International Islamic University, Islamabad), Chang Liu (Ohio University), Andrian Marcus (Wayne State University), Viera Krnanova Proulx (Northeastern University) and Tao Xie (North Carolina State University). Richard E. Pattis (University of California, Irvine) was recognized as a new ACM Distinguished Educator, while Cristina Videira Lopes (University of California, Irvine), David F. Redmiles (University of California, Irvine) and Laurie Ann Williams (North Carolina State University) were recognized as new ACM Distinguished Scientists. Finally, the new ACM Fellows are Thomas J. Ball ( Microsoft Research) for contributions to software analysis and defect detection, and Gerard J. Holzmann (NASA JPL) for contributions to software verification by model checking.

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 2011 SIGSOFT

Impact Paper Award committee, led by William G. Griswold, selected the paper "Interface Automata" by Luca de Alfaro and Thomas A. Henzinger, from the Proceedings of the Joint 8th European Software Engineering Conference and 9th ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering, which was held in Vienna, Austria on 10 - 14 September 2001. Thomas Henzinger accepted the award at ESEC/FSE 2011 and gave a plenary 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 once again chaired the selection committee, which selected the following four papers:

Dewayne E. Perry and Alexander L. Wolf. "Foundations for the Study of Software Architecture". In ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, vol. 17, no. 4, October 1992.

Thomas Reps, Susan Horowitz, Mooly Sagiv and Genevieve Rosay. "Speeding Up Slicing". In Proc. Second ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering (New Orleans, December 1994).

David Garlan, Robert Allen and John Ockerbloom. "Architectural Mismatch or Why It's Hard to Build Systems Out of Existing Parts". In Proc. 17th International Conference on Software Engineering (Seattle, April 1995).

Gail C. Murphy, David Notkin and Kevin Sullivan. "Software Reflexion Models: Bridging the Gap between Source and High - Level Models". In Proc. Third ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering (Washington, October 1995).

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

Finally, this year we presented the SIGBED/SIGSOFT Frank Anger Memorial Award to Aldeida Aleti of Swinburne University of Technology. The award supports travel and attendance by a student member of SIGSOFT to a conference sponsored by S IGBED, and Aldeida chose to attend ESWEEK 2011. SIGBED made corresponding awards to Mohamed A. Bamakhrama of Leiden University and Miroslav Pajic of the University of Pennsylvania, who chose to attend ICSE 2012.


The problems and topics addressed in the papers presented at SIGSOFT meetings remain varied and timely. Software engineering researchers are increasing their application of techniques borrowed from other areas of computer science, particularly statistical analysis, data mining and machine learning techniques. One particularly innovative paper applying techniques from outside of software engineering is "On the Naturalness of Software" by Abram Hindle, Earl T. Barr, Zhendong Su, Mark Gabel and Premkumar Devanbu, which was presented at ICSE 2012. The paper applies statistical techniques from natural language processing to analyze the extent to which program code is "natural" (and thus repetitive and predictable) and the extent to which its natural character can be used to support software engineers (such as via automated code completion). Testing and analysis remain the predominant areas of research interest, and researchers are continuing to target more specialized forms of software such as embedded systems, smartphone applications, and software for clouds.


This year we launched a new SIGSOFT Award, the ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, for outstanding PhD dissertations in the field of software engineering. The effort in creating the award was led by Tao Xie, who with Adam Porter is co - chairing the award selection committee. We expect the first award to be presented at FSE 2012 in November.

Also this year, at ICSE 2012 we continued our support for the ACM Student Research Competition (SRC), which serves to recognize significant achievements of student members of the community and to provide stronger integration of students with professional attendees at our sponsored meetings.

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


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.

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. This year we also chose new hosts for the SEWORLD email list, namely Andre van der Hoek and his group at the University of California, Irvine.

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.


As in previous years, conference finance remains the key challenge for SIGSOFT, particularly for the volunteers who organize its sponsored meetings, and ultimately for its membership who pay the registration fees for those meetings. Operating and venue costs for conferences continue to soa r, and meeting organizers 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.