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ICSE 2021
Sat 22 - Sun 30 May 2021 Location to be announced

The 2nd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Automation of Software Test AST 2021

Software testing of modern distributed and pervasive systems remains a paramount and costly activity,
and its automation still poses many difficult challenges for both researchers and practitioners.

After a successful event at ICSE 2020, we repropose AST as a collocated event with ICSE 2021 in Madrid, Spain.

The conference theme for AST 2021 is “Automatic Software Testing from the Trenches”.

For more details, take a look to the CFP

Call for Papers

The increasing complexity, pervasiveness and inter-connection of software systems on the one hand, and the ever-shrinking development cycles and time-to-market on the other, make the automation of software test (AST) an urgent requirement today more than ever. Despite significant achievements both in theory and practice, AST remains a challenging research area.

Conference Theme

The AST 2021 conference theme is “Automatic Software Testing from the Trenches”.

Software testing automation is a discipline that has produced noteworthy research in the last decade. The search for solutions to automatically test any concept of software is critical, mainly to fulfill the ever-increasing demands from the industry. Many times, however, industry needs differ from the research agenda, as companies need to prioritize reducing cost and time-to-market. Moreover, practitioners may have a hard time choosing a particular testing method or technology, since the real challenges that influence the decision are usually hidden.

AST 2021 continues with a long record of workshops and recently, conferences, oriented to look for solutions to automated testing needs. In this edition, our goal is to go one step further in creating a bridge between theory and practice. AST 2021 will offer a forum of discussion about solutions, experiences or conclusions obtained from the trenches.

We invite contributions that focus on: i) lessons learned about experiments of automatic testing in practice; ii) experiences of the adoption of testing tools, methods and techniques; iii) best practices to follow in testing and their measurable consequences; and iv) theorical approaches that are applicable to the industry in the context of AST.

Topics of Interest

Submissions on the AST 2021 theme are especially encouraged, but papers on other topics relevant to the automation of software test are also welcome.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Test automation of large, complex system
  • Metrics for testing - test efficiency, test coverage
  • Tools for model-based V&V
  • Test-driven development
  • Standardization of test tools
  • Test coverage metrics and criteria
  • Product line testing
  • Formal methods and theories for testing and test automation
  • Test case generation based on formal and semi-formal models
  • Testing with software usage models
  • Testing of reactive and object-oriented systems
  • Software simulation by models, forecasts of behavior and properties
  • Application of model checking in testing
  • Tools for security specification, models, protocols, testing and evaluation
  • Theoretical foundations of test automation
  • Models as test oracles; test validation with models
  • Testing anomaly detectors
  • Testing cyber physical systems
  • Automated usability and user experience testing

We are interested in the following aspects related to AST:

  1. Problem identification. Analysis and specification of requirements for AST, and elicitation of problems that hamper wider adoption of AST
  2. Methodology. Novel methods and approaches for AST in the context of up-to-date software development methodologies
  3. Technology. Automation of various test techniques and methods for test-related activities, as well as for testing various types of software
  4. Tools and Environments. Issues and solutions in the development, operation, maintenance and evolution of tools and environments for AST, and their integration with other types of tools and runtime support platforms
  5. Empirical studies, and Experience reports, and Industrial Contributions. Real experiences in using automated testing techniques, methods and tools in industry
  6. Visions of the future. Foresight and thought-provoking ideas for AST that can inspire new powerful research trends.


Three types of submissions are invited:

  • Regular Papers (up to 10 pages)
    • Research Paper
    • Industrial Case Study
  • Short Papers (up to 4 pages)
    • Research Paper
    • Industrial Case Study
    • Doctoral Student Research
  • Industrial Abstracts (up to 2 pages)

Regular papers include both Research papers that present research in the area of software test automation, and Industrial Case Studies that report on practical applications of test automation.

Regular papers must not exceed 10 pages for all materials (including the main text, appendices, figures, tables, and references).

Short papers also include both Research papers and Industrial Case Studies.

Short papers must not exceed 4 pages for all materials.

As short papers, doctoral students working on software testing are encouraged to submit their work. AST will have an independent session to bring doctoral students working on software testing, with experts assigned to each paper together, to discuss their research in a constructive and international atmosphere, and to prepare for defense exam. The first author in a submission must be the doctoral student and the second author the advisor. Authors of selected submissions will be invited to make a brief presentation followed by a constructive discussion in a session dedicated to doctoral students.

Industrial abstract talks are specifically conceived to promote industrial participation: We require the first author of such papers to come from industry. Authors of accepted papers get invited to give a talk with same time length and within same sessions as regular papers. Industrial abstracts must not exceed 2 pages for all materials.

The submission website is: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ast2021

All submissions must be in PDF. The page limit is strict, and it will not be possible to purchase additional pages at any point in the process (including after the paper is accepted).

Submissions must conform to the IEEE formatting instructions IEEE Conference Proceedings Formatting Guidelines (title in 24pt font and full text in 10pt type, LaTeX users must use \documentclass[10pt,conference]{IEEEtran} without including the compsoc or compsocconf options).

Submissions must be unpublished original work and should not be under review or submitted elsewhere while being under consideration. AST 2021 will follow a double-blind review process, so author names, affiliations and funding sources should be removed from the PDF, as well as any references that may reveal the identity of the authors in the text.

By submitting to AST, authors acknowledge that they are aware of and agree to be bound by the ACM Policy and Procedures on Plagiarism and the IEEE Plagiarism FAQ. The authors also acknowledge that they conform to the authorship policy of the ACM, and the authorship policy of the IEEE.

The accepted regular and short papers, case studies, and industrial abstracts will be published in the ICSE 2021 Co-located Event Proceedings and included in the IEEE and ACM Digital Libraries. Authors of accepted papers are required to register and present their accepted paper at the conference in order for the paper to be included in the proceedings and the Digital Libraries.

The official publication date is the date the proceedings are made available in the ACM or IEEE Digital Libraries.

This date may be up to two weeks prior to the first day of ICSE 2021. The official publication date affects the deadline for any patent filings related to published work.