[TYPES/announce] Call for Papers: Unsound - Sources of Unsoundness in Verification (Deadline Extension: 2022-09-16)

Jan Bessai jan.bessai at tu-dortmund.de
Fri Sep 2 16:43:05 EDT 2022

                   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 
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 

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 
  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 
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 

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 attend.

### Examples for possible contributions would be:

* Definition of sound and unsound and how they can diverge between 
* Divergences between user assumptions and actual definitions of 
* 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., 
* 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 
* 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 
* Impacts of the false sense of security when the chain of trust is 
broken by
   subtle unsoundness in verification tools.

### Contributions:

*Extended Deadline: 2022-09-16 (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 exploits.

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' 

### 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!XVIDunRXNjARnUZmCH0D2auGeqoNvaxt4UWBtjmM6brQJUYsepQTqotN7hFP87p3eXdO-bwgibATu2fJf9n2XdWSDrPpRUbs9VUwQbnY$  ).

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, 


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

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