The 20th International Conference on Formal Engineering Methods

12-16 November 2018 - Gold Coast, Australia

Welcome to the website of the 20th International Conference on Formal Engineering Methods (ICFEM 2018)

Since 1997, ICFEM provides a forum for both researchers and practitioners who are interested in developing practical formal methods for software engineering or applying existing formal techniques to improve software development process in practice systems.

Formal methods for the development of computer systems have been extensively researched and studied. We now have good theoretical understandings of how to describe what programs do, how they do it, and why they work. A range of semantic theories, specification languages, design techniques, verification methods, and supporting tools have been developed and applied to the construction of programs of moderate size that are used in critical applications. The remaining challenge now is how to deal with problems in developing and maintaining large scale and complex computer systems.

The goal of this conference is to bring together industrial, academic, and government experts, from a variety of user domains and software disciplines, to help advance the state of the art. Researchers, practitioners, tool developers and users, and technology transfer experts are all welcome. We are interested in work that has been incorporated into real production systems, and in theoretical work that promises to bring practical, tangible engineering benefits.

Speakers Highlight

Keynote Speakers
Sir Tony Hoare
Turing Award Winner
Ian Hayes
Prof. @ UQ
Jifeng He
Academician of CAS
David Basin
Prof. @ ETH Zurich
Special Session Speakers
Cristina Cifuentes
Director @ Oracle Labs
Sylvie Thiebaux
Prof. @ ANU
Jim McCarthy
Australia Defence
Brendan Mahony
Australia Defence

We look forward to your contribution and participation.

Keynote Speakers

Sir Tony Hoare (C. A. R. Hoare) is a British computer scientist. He developed the sorting algorithm quicksort in 1959/1960. He also developed Hoare logic for verifying program correctness in 1969, and the formal language communicating sequential processes (CSP) to specify the interactions of concurrent processes in 1985. He received the Turing Prize and the Kyoto Prize for his fundamental contributions to the definition and design of programming languages in 1980 and 2000 respectively. Tony Hoare became a professor at Oxford University in 1977 where he is now an Emeritus Professor. Hoare was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society as well as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. A recent personal research goal has been the unification of a diverse range of theories applying to different programming languages, paradigms, and implementation technologies. Tony has been and continue to be an inspiration to many researchers.

Title: Algebra, Logic, Geometry at the Foundation of Computer Science

Abstract: I look forward to the day when a Unified Theory of Programming will be generally taught throughout a Degree Course in Computing. It will tell students a simple method for planning, developing and testing their practical exercises and assignments. The initial level of mathematical presentation of the Theory is that of High School lessons in Algebra, Logic and Geometry. The Theory will be put to immediate practical use by a Software Development Environment for students, providing guidance and immediate checking for the programs which they write.

I start with a review of Boolean Algebra, illustrated by familiar laws and theorems for disjunction. A deductive logic with implication and proof rules is derived from the algebra in the standard way. The algebra is extended by operators for sequential and concurrent composition. They share a unit, they are associative and distribute through disjunction. An Interchange axiom formalises a basic principle of concurrency, in that it shows how an arbitrarily concurrent program can be executed directly by interleaving on a single sequential computer, without the overhead of interpretation. Proof rules are derived for a modal logic of time and space. Its rules are definitionally equivalent to two historic logics due to Hoare and Milner, which are now used widely for mechanical reasoning about correctness of programs and of implementations of programming languages. These two rival theories have at last been unified.

The lecture ends with an account of the applications of algebra to programs, and a discussion of its limitations as the foundation of Computer Science.

David Basin is a full professor of Computer Science at ETH Zurich. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University in 1989 and his Habilitation in Computer Science from the University of Saarbrucken in 1996. From 1997–2002 he held the chair of Software Engineering at the University of Freiburg in Germany. His research areas are Information Security and Software Engineering. He is the founding director of the ZISC, the Zurich Information Security Center, which he led from 2003-2011. He is Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security and of Springer-Verlag's book series on Information Security and Cryptography. He serves on various management and scientific advisory boards, co-founded three security companies, and has consulted extensively for IT companies and government organizations.

Title: Security Protocols: Model Checking Standards

Abstract: The design of security protocols is typically approached more as an art than a science, and often with disastrous consequences. But this need not be so! I have been working for ca. 20 years on foundations, methods, and tools, both for developing protocols that are correct by construction and for the post-hoc verification of existing designs. In this talk I will introduce my work in this area and describe my experience analyzing, improving, and contributing to different industry standards, both existing and upcoming.

Professor Ian Hayes is a professor of computer science at the University of Queensland. His research interests are in formal methods for software development, in particular, for concurrent and real-time systems, and for language-based software security. His most recent concurrency research has been on the development of a concurrent program algebra to support reasoning about concurrency using the rely/guarantee approach and incorporating fairness and progress assumptions. His recent research in language-based security has focussed on providing secure access to resources via capabilities.

Title: Progress towards an algebra for concurrent programs

Abstract: Our original goal was to develop a refinement calculus for shared-memory concurrent programs that would support Jones-style rely/guarantee developments. Our semantics was based on Aczel traces, which explicitly include environment steps as well as program steps, and were originally proposed as a basis for showing the rely/guarantee rules of Jones are sound. Where we have ended up is with a hierarchy of algebraic theories that provide a foundation for concurrent program refinement, which allows us to prove Jones-style rely/guarantee laws, as well as new laws. In particular, we are able to encode fairness in a novel way that allows fair execution of a single process to be treated in isolation, rather than fairness being encoded intrinsically in a fair parallel operator. We also have a new way of looking at progress assumptions for blocking operations. Our algebraic theory is based on a lattice of commands that includes a sub-lattice of test commands (similar to Kozen's Kleene Algebra with Tests) and a sub-algebra of atomic step commands (similar to Milner's SCCS) but with a richer structure that supports Aczel's program and environment steps as atomic step commands. The latter allows us to directly encode rely and guarantee commands to represent rely/guarantee specifications, and to encode fair execution of a command.

Professor Jifeng He, academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, now serves as the Dean of School of Computer Science and Software Engineering at East China Normal University. He had been employed by Oxford University as a senior research fellow 1983-1998 and won Queen's Awards in 1989 and 1993 respectively. He has published over 180 papers in international conferences and journals. He is in the editorial board of Formal Aspects of Computing journal. He was awarded Honorary Doctor Degree of York University in 2011. In 2011, he was the recipient of the first class prize of the Chinese Ministry of Education (Universities) Natural Science Award. In 2013, he was the recipient of Shanghai Hero of Science and Technology Award. HE Jifeng was appointed as the Chief Scientist for the “Trusted Software Fundamental Research” as a major research plan launched by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). He was also appointed as the Chief Scientist for the “Theory and Practice on Coordination and Survivability for Massive Amount of Information” project as the National Basic Research Program (“973” Program) founded by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). In 2011, he was appointed as the Chief Scientist for the “Internet of Things” project as China Technology Research Development Plan (“863” Program) founded by MOST. During 1995-1998, Prof. HE devoted to the research of the unifying theory of programming, and investigated the links between a diversity of presentation for the programming languages. A book “Unifying theories of programming” was published in 1998 with Tony Hoare. Currently he is working on the mathematical models for Cyber Physical Systems and new roadmap for unifying theories of programming.



Download the program here.

Workshops and Tutorials

The 7th Asian Workshop of Advanced Software Engineering (AWASE 2018), 16-17 November 2018
The 8th international workshop on SOFL + MSVL for Reliability and Security​ (SOFL+MSVL 2018)​, 16 November 2018
The 6th International Workshop on Formal Techniques for Safety-Critical Systems​ (FTSCS 2018)​, 16 November 2018


Student Early Registration
(until 12 Oct 2018)
Early Registration
(until 12 Oct 2018)
Student Late Registration
(after 12 Oct 2018)
Late Registration
(after 12 Oct 2018)
Full week* 990 AUD (≈ 730 USD) 1195 AUD (≈ 885 USD) 1130 AUD (≈ 835 USD) 1330 AUD (≈ 985 USD)
ICFEM only** 860 AUD (≈ 635 USD) 1060 AUD (≈ 785 USD) 1000 AUD (≈ 740 USD) 1195 AUD (≈ 885 USD)
Symposium on DLT only*** 280 AUD (≈ 205 USD) 380 AUD (≈ 280 USD) 415 AUD (≈ 305 USD) 515 AUD (≈ 380 USD)
Workshops only*** 280 AUD (≈ 205 USD) 380 AUD (≈ 280 USD) 415 AUD (≈ 305 USD) 515 AUD (≈ 380 USD)
Doctoral Symposium only*** 280 AUD (≈ 205 USD) 380 AUD (≈ 280 USD) 415 AUD (≈ 305 USD) 515 AUD (≈ 380 USD)

Note that authors' registration deadline is the same as the camera-ready deadline (29 July 2018).

*Full week includes ICFEM conference, all the workshops, the Doctoral Symposium, and the co-hosted Symposium on Distributed Ledger Technology (SDLT). It includes lunches on each day, a reception dinner, a conference dinner, and a workshop dinner.

**ICFEM conference includes lunches on each day, a reception dinner, and a conference dinner.

***The Symposium on DLT, Workshop and Doctoral Symposium all include lunch and dinner.

The USD conversion is only for indication purposes. The attendants should use the AUD price for registration.

Register here

Venue and Accomodation

Gold Coast is blessed with an enviable climate, world-class facilities and convenient public transport networks.

Delegates can easily access activities like cruising on the Bay, with the lush rainforests of the Scenic Rim and the beaches of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast within a short drive of the city centre. More informations are available at the Official Tourism Website for the Gold Coast

Conference venue: ICFEM 2018 will be held at Novotel Surfers Paradise. Detailed address: 3105 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, 4217 Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia. Tel: +61 7 5579 3499. Fax: +61 7 5592 0026. Email: The location can be found in Google Maps below.

We have negotiated with Novotel for a discount on accommodation. ICFEM 2018 delegates can book a Superior Room with Breakfast for $155 AUD per night (GST inclusive) subject to availability at time of booking. Details for the booking are as below:

To book a room delegates should call the hotel direct on +61 (0) 7 5579 3499 or email reservations on and quote “Griffith” to receive this special rate. Our reservations team are aware of the special rate and will be able to assist delegates with any queries. Our reservations team can provide delegates with a secure link to pay for their room online as well.



From Brisbane International Airport: Take the BDVL train line from Brisbane International Airport Station Platform 1 towards Varsity Lakes, get off at Helensvale Station and walk to Platform 5. Take the GLKS train line towards Broadbeach South, get off at Cavill Avenue Station. Walk south for 150 meters to reach Novetel Surfers Paradise. The train leaves every 30 min. Travel time around 2 hours 20 min.

From Gold Coast Airport: Take the 777 bus from Gold Coast Airport Station towards Broadbeach South, get off at Broadbeach South Station and take the GLKS train line towards Helensvale, get off at Cavill Avenue Station. Walk south for 120 meters to reach Novetel Surfers Paradise. The bus leaves every 15 min. Travel time around 50 min.

Visa Application

Attendees that require a visa may request a support letter from General information for Australian visa applicants can be found here. Business conference visa information can be found here. Additional visa information can be found here.

Official Sponsors


Inside Gold Coast

DEPINTEL: Dependable Intelligence

ICFEM'18 is an outstanding opportunity for you to reach the ‘thought leaders’ in this industry with your message, and for your Software Engineering team to network and exchange ideas with their peers in this unique and innovative forum.

Sponsors are offered the opportunity to reach over 100 software engineering experts, including researchers and industry practitioners such as developers, QA and engineering managers.

New sponsorship are welcome and any entity wishing to become an official sponsor may contact the sponsorship chair.

Conference Organising Committee

General Co-Chair

Jin Song Dong, Griffith University and NUS, Australia

Program Co-Chairs

Jing Sun, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Meng Sun, Peking University, China

Workshop Chair

Yang Liu, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Tutorial Chair

Jun Sun, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore

Doctorial Symposium Co-Chairs

Yamine Ait-Ameur, INPT-ENSEEIHT, France
Zhe Hou, Griffith University, Australia

Sponsorship Chair

Zhe Hou, Griffith University, Australia

20 Years ICFEM Award Chair

Shaoying Liu, Hosei University, Japan

Web Chair

Hadrien Bride, Griffith University, Australia

Steering Committee

Keijiro Araki, Kyushu University, Japan
Michael Butler, University of Southampton, UK
Jin Song Dong, Griffith University and NUS
Jifeng He, East China Normal University, China
Mike Hinchey, University of Limerick, Ireland
Shaoying Liu, Hosei University, Japan
Shengchao Qin, University of Teesside, UK

Program Committee

Bernhard K. Aichernig, TU Graz, Austria
Cyrille Artho, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Christian Attiogbe, University of Nantes, France
Christel Baier, TU Dresden, Germany
Richard Banach, The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Luis Barbosa, University of Minho, Portugal
Frank De Boer, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), Netherlands
Michael Butler, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
Franck Cassez, Macquarie University, Australia
Ana Cavalcanti, University of York, United Kingdom
Zhenbang Chen, National University of Defense Technology, China
Sylvain Conchon, Universite Paris-Sud, France
Yuxin Deng, East China Normal University, China
Jin Song Dong, Griffith University and NUS, Australia
Zhenhua Duan, Xidian University, China​
Marc Frappier, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada
Stefania Gnesi, ISTI-CNR, Italy​
Lindsay Groves, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Ichiro Hasuo, National Institute of Informatics, Japan
Xudong He, Florida International University, United States
Zhenjiang Hu, National Institute of Informatics (NII), Japan
Jie-Hong Roland Jiang, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Gerwin Klein, University of New South Wales, Australia
Fabrice Kordon, LIP6/Sorbonne Universite & CNRS, France
Michael Leuschel, University of Dusseldorf, Germany
Yuan-Fang Li, Monash University, Australia
Yang Liu, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Zhiming Liu, Southwest University, China
Shuang Liu, Tianjin University, China
Shaoying Liu, Hosei University, Japan
Brendan Mahony, DSTO, Australia
Stephan Merz, Inria Nancy, France
Jim McCarthy, Defence Science and Technology, Australia​
Mohammad Mousavi, University of Leicester, United Kingdom
Shin Nakajima, National Institute of Informatics, Japan
Peter Olveczky, University of Oslo, Norway
Jun Pang, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Yu Pei, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
Geguang Pu, East China Normal University, China
Shengchao Qin, Teesside University, United Kingdom
Silvio Ranise, FBK-Irst, Italy
Adrian Riesco, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Graeme Smith, The University of Queensland, Australia
Harald Sondergaard, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Jing Sun, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Meng Sun, Peking University, China
Jun Sun, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore
Cong Tian, Xidian University, China
Jaco van de Pol, University of Twente, Netherlands
Hai H. Wang, University of Aston, United Kingdom
Zijiang Yang, Western Michigan University, United States
Wang Yi, Uppsala University, Sweden
Jian Zhang, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Important Dates

Abstract Submissions Due: 7 May 2018

Full Paper Submissions Due: 24 May (AOE) 2018

Workshop/Tutorial Proposals Due: 25 March 2018

Acceptance/Rejection Notification: 29 June 2018

Camera-ready Due: 29 July 2018

Important Dates for Doctoral Symposium Papers

Submission: 8 July 2018

Notification: 15 July 2018

Camera-ready Due: 29 July 2018

Scope and Topics

Submissions related to the following principal themes are encouraged, but any topics relevant to the field of formal engineering methods and their practical applications will also be considered:

  • Abstraction, refinement and evolution
  • Formal specification and modelling
  • Formal verification and analysis
  • Model checking
  • Formal approaches to software testing and inspection
  • Formal methods for self-adaptive systems
  • Formal methods for object-oriented systems
  • Formal methods for component-based systems
  • Formal methods for concurrent and real-time systems
  • Formal methods for cloud computing
  • Formal methods for cyber-physical systems
  • Formal methods for software safety and security
  • Formal methods for software reliability and dependability
  • Development, integration and experiments involving verified systems
  • Formal certification of products under international standards
  • Formal model-based development and code generation

Conference Paper Submission and Publication

Submissions to the conference must not have been published or be concurrently considered for publication elsewhere. All submissions will be judged on the basis of originality, contribution to the field, technical and presentation quality, and relevance to the conference. The proceedings will be published in the Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science series.

Papers should be written in English and should not exceed 16 pages (including references) in the Springer's LNCS format. Additional material may be placed in an appendix, to be read at the discretion of the reviewers and to be omitted in the final version. Formatting style files and further guidelines for formatting can be found at the Springer website (more details here). Submissions should be made through the ICFEM 2018 submission page, handled by the EasyChair conference management system.

Access submission portal

Workshop or tutorial proposals should be directly sent to the Workshop/Tutorial Chair via email. Each proposal should include (1) title, scope, and aims, (2) brief bio of the organizer or lecturer, and (3) postal and email addresses.

Accepted papers can be found here.

Copyright form for accepted papers can be downloaded here.

Doctorial Symposium Paper Submission

The ICFEM PhD Symposium is an international forum for PhD students studying all areas related to formal methods for software and system development. This forum is a good opportunity for PhD students to bring together PhD students and established and known researchers of the formal methods community; provide PhD students with fruitful feedback and advice on their research approach; enable PhD students to interact with other PhD students and to stimulate exchange of ideas suggestions and experiences among participants; provide PhD students an opportunity to present, share and discuss their research in a constructive and critical atmosphere.

We seek PhD students who have either determined the direction of their thesis research (probably with some preliminary results already published), but who still have substantial work to complete, or PhD student participants who are in the early stages of their dissertations. It is not required to have a paper accepted for the main conference in order to participate to the ICFEM’2018 Doctoral Symposium.

Submissions of Two to Four (2-4) pages presenting your PhD research plan and progress in the Springer Lecture Notes format are requested. Preferably, submissions should include: Title of the paper and the author name; Problem statement, motivations, and progress; Current development and related work; Proposed solutions, approach and methodology, and their significance; Current results and assessment; Future work. The paper should be prepared using the LNCS format and submitted in PDF format via easychair.

The Doctoral Symposium papers will be published in Springer in the LNCS volume as part of the main ICFEM 2018 proceedings.

Important Dates: The ICFEM PhD Symposium will be held on 12th November, 2018.

Submission: 30 June 2018 8 July 2018 15 July 2018 (AoE)

Notification: 22 July 2018

Camera-ready Due: 29 July 2018

Contact Us

Institute for Integrated and Intelligent Systems (IIIS), Griffith University

+61 7 3735 3757