SIGSOFT Annual Report

Fiscal Year 2016

Submitted by: Nenad Medvidovic, SIGSOFT Chair

SIGSOFT seeks to improve our ability to engineer software by stimulating interaction among practitioners, researchers, and educators; by fostering the professional development of software engineers; and by representing software engineers to professional, legal, and political entities.

ACM's SIGSOFT had another excellent year, both technically and financially in 2015-2016. This report provides a summary of key SIGSOFT activities over the past year.


SIGSOFT's awards program recognizes the many achievements of the software engineering community (see for the most recent awardees). A number of the awards, including our prestigious service, research, and education awards, were presented again this year at the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2016) in Austin, TX.

  • The ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award was presented to James Herbsleb from Carnegie Melon University, USA, "for his significant and lasting research contributions to the theory and practice of software engineering."
  • The ACM SIGSOFT Influential Educator Award was presented to Lori Pollock from the University of Delaware, USA, "for her contributions to the advancement of the research and practice of software engineering."
  • The ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Service Award was presented to Martin Glinz from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, "for his key service contributions to the software engineering community, including major editorial responsibilities in journals and successful chairing of major technical events."
  • The Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award was given to Milos Gligoric, for his Ph.D. dissertation titled "Regression Test Selection: Theory and Practice." The dissertation was completed at the University of Illinois, under the guidance of Professor Darko Marinov.
  • We recognized the new ACM Senior Members, Distinguished Members, and Fellows from the SIGSOFT community. In particular, the new Distinguished Members are Margaret Burnett, Nenad Medvidovic, Nachiappan Nagappan, Sebastian Uchitel, and Tao Xie. The new ACM Fellows are Michael Franz, Sriram Rajamani, and Michael Rung-Tsong Lyu.
  • 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. This year, the award went to the paper "Finding Bugs with a Constraint Solver" by Daniel Jackson and Mandana Vaziri, from the Proceedings of the 2000 ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis (ISSTA 2000).
  • The Impact Paper Award is in addition to the Most Influential Paper Awards, also known as "test of time awards", which are given to papers that have appeared at a particular conference. ICSE is the SIGSOFT co-sponsored conference with the longest track record of awarding Most Influential Papers. This year, the award went to the ICSE 2006 paper "Who Should Fix This Bug?" by John Anvik, Lyndon Hiew, and Gail Murphy.
  • Many of SIGSOFT's sponsored meetings this year also presented Distinguished Paper Awards. SIGSOFT allows up to 10% of the accepted papers to be selected for this award. The list of awarded papers is maintained on SIGSOFT website's Awards page.


Software engineering has become a truly interdisciplinary area as every facet of computing, as well as many other scientific and engineering disciplines, depend on software. Advances in these other areas-from big data, to the cloud, virtualization, deep learning, mobile computing, formal methods, etc., with applications in autonomous vehicles, robotics, medicine, and countless other areas-require corresponding software engineering methods, tools, and techniques. This is reflected in the types of papers that increasingly appear in software engineering venues sponsored by SIGSOFT. Such papers tend to combine advances in multiple areas into solutions to specific problems. As examples, we highlight two such papers, recipients of the SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award at ICSE 2016.

  • "Efficient Large-scale Trace Checking Using MapReduce" by Marcello Bersani, Domenico Bianculli, Carlo Ghezzi, Srdjan Krstic, and Piearluigi San Pietro demonstrates an effective marriage of cloud computing, distributed programming frameworks, and temporal logic.
  • "VDTest: An Automated Framework to Support Testing for Virtual Devices" by Tingting Yu, Xiao Qu, and Myra Cohen demonstrates a novel coupling of formal methods, static program analysis, software testing, and virtualization.


Over the past several years, SIGSOFT has introduced a number of programs to aid and expand our membership. Some representative examples are as follows: student-members receive discounted membership rates and registration fees at all SIGSOFT-sponsored conferences; most of our conferences offer Doctoral Symposia where students are mentored by experienced Software Engineering professors; the popular SIGSOFT Webinar series (in the past year, we have had 11 webinars that had a total of 2,875 attendees); an Early Career Award that recognizes individuals at early stages in their careers; SIGSOFT provides travel support to conferences for dozens of graduate and undergraduate student-members as well as support to defray the costs of childcare, through the Conference Aid Program for Students (CAPS).

To broaden SIGSOFT's reach and membership, SIGSOFT has established national chapters in India (ISoft) and China (CSoft). Each chapter has a liaison on the SIGSOFT EC. As part of the support for the two communities, SIGSOFT sponsors travel for a total of four SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award winning authors to present their work at ISoft's and CSoft's flagship national events (two at each event). Furthermore, SIGSOFT has sponsored travel for two speakers at each of the three annual Warm-up Workshops organized to expose the Latin American software engineering community to ICSE, which will be held in Buenos Aires in 2017.


While SIGSOFT is stable and strong, there are several challenges we are facing:

  • SIGSOFT's membership numbers have been stable despite a large growth of software engineering worldwide. We will aim to address this, with a particular focus on practitioners.
  • We will work on establishing a long-term working relationship with our Indian, Chinese, and South American colleagues, as well as expanding the reach of SIGSOFT into Africa.
  • The typical conference registration fees place a significant burden on the research funds of many members of our community. SIGSOFT has tried to alleviate this burden through the CAPS program. We will work on developing ways of reducing the fees more directly.
  • We recognize that traditional ways of reaching our membership are no longer sufficient. To address that, we will work on increasing SIGSOFT's presence on social media.