[TYPES/announce] Call for Papers: Unsound - Sources of Unsoundness in Verification

Jan Bessai jan.bessai at tu-dortmund.de
Mon Jul 4 08:41:44 EDT 2022

                 First Call for Papers

   1st Workshop on Sources of Unsoundness in Verification
                   at SPLASH 2022

Software and proof verification has grown significantly in the last 15 years.
Growth has come to the point where verification systems are complex and
manually proving the soundness of those verification systems sometimes exceeds
what a single research group can understand and verify as correct.

Even formally defining soundness can be challenging and its definition is
varying from system to system. Specific research groups can have very specific
notions of soundness they focus on, but those can diverge from what the users
expect, especially if the users come from a different verification environment
or they are approaching verification for the first time.

Participants to Unsound will be able to share their experience and exploits on
how different verification tools can either be broken or expose confusing
behavior, likely to be unexpected by users.
We think this would be greatly beneficial not only because it will help all of
us to iron out those unsoundnesses but also because it will facilitate
understanding of the foundational differences between the assumptions of the
various research lines.

The current academic environment encourages us to talk about the success case
of our work. In this workshop we want to address and learn from failure cases
and we want to reinforce the bedrock of our understanding.
In practice, when we divert our focus to a specific aspect of verification
 we may (understandably) be less precise.
For example, a line of research focusing on aliasing control in OO may be less
precise when considering the implication in other areas, like termination.
We believe that learning from the issues of many verification projects can
broaden the attention of researchers to topics which so far escaped their
focused area of research; e.g., from only type correctness to also avoiding
stack overflows.

We believe that this environment would be particularly beneficial for young
researchers that are in search of open questions in verification. This may
provide a motivation to deep dive into the details of any particular tool, or
to expand their individual area of expertise to get a wider and more objective
and critical view of the whole area of verification.

We also wonder if in our fast expansion we accidentally glossed over some
fundamental issue in verification, and if our mistake has now become engraved
into the established wisdom and it is sometimes uncritically assumed as a
valid reasoning stepping stone.

We are particularly interested in sources of unsoundness that are accidentally
shared by many different unrelated research lines, and to develop an
understanding on why this is the case.

The workshop would be its first instance and is meant to be welcoming
for both people with strong theoretical skills, as well as people who
just like hacking things. We do not expect fully polished submissions
and we will not have formal proceedings. Students are especially welcome to

### Examples for possible contributions would be:

* Definition of sound and unsound and how they can diverge between tools.
* Divergences between user assumptions and actual definitions of soundness.
* Common sources of unsoundness and why they emerge.
* Bugs and unsoundnesses in the process of extracting a concrete program
   from a verified environment, e.g., from Coq to Haskell.
* Logic errors in the specification of a verification tool, e.g., universe
* Bugs in the implementation of proof checkers.
* Overconfident generalizations of sound subsystems to larger settings, e.g.,
imperative techniques in OO settings.
* Disproving soundness statements in published papers about verification.
* Finding statements proven in published literature that should no longer be
trusted because they relied on a broken verification system.
* Simply proving False in a verification tool, in particular we are
  interested in practical ways to trick available tools to accept wrong
* Breaking reasoning about programs with types by breaking the type
  system of the programming language in new and interesting ways.
* Bad interactions between axiomatic choices in libraries used in proofs.
* Impacts of the false sense of security when the chain of trust is broken by
  subtle unsoundness in verification tools.

### Contributions:

Deadline: 2022-09-01 (23:59 AOE)
Submissions should have 3 pages of text. Additional material (bibliography,
related work, and code examples) will not count toward this limit.
We strongly encourage authors to include instructions to reproduce results or

There will be a friendly peer review process, focusing on checking that the
submitted material is appropriate for the workshop.

#### Publication
Informal proceedings will be made publicly available on the workshop web page.
However, presentation at Unsound does not count as prior publication, and can
later be published at a conference of the authors' choosing.

### Instruction to Authors

#### Submission

Authors should be aware of ACM’s policies on plagiarism
(https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www.acm.org/publications/policies/plagiarism__;!!IBzWLUs!RSU2B-G6Tz2AaU1APXSM_OoCc_NORbroCSRpslw_qYJG8C4H9czPJJ0KGxxRNo37T-CumeLSwHPU8sVemMLW_FZ_DMbNUZUSDotTUeHe$ ).

Program Committee members are allowed to submit papers.

Papers must be submitted online at:

#### Formatting:

Submitted papers should be in portable document format (PDF), formatted using
the ACM SIGPLAN style guidelines. Authors should use the acmart format, with
the acmsmall sub-format for ACM proceedings. For details, see:


It is recommended to use the review option when submitting a paper; this
option enables line numbers for easy reference in reviews.

----- End forwarded message -----

More information about the Types-announce mailing list