The Second International Workshop on
Software Cybernetics

in Conjunction with COMPSAC 2005

Edinburgh, Scotland, July 26-28, 2005



Software cybernetics explores the interplay between software/software behavior, and control. The fundamental question of interest is: when can,and quantitatively speaking, how can software behavior, software processes, or software systems be adapted or evolved to meet old and new objectives in the presence of a changing environment, e.g., disturbances, faults, or expanded requirements? This emerging and inter-disciplinary area addresses issues and questions on (1). the formalization and quantification of feedback and self-adaptive control mechanisms in software; (2). the adaptation of control theory principles to software processes and systems; (3). the application of software engineering principles and theories to control systems; and (4). the integration of the theories of software engineering and control engineering.

This workshop is the successor of the First International Workshop on Software Cybernetics (IWSC), which was held in conjunction with the 28th IEEE International Computer Software and Application Conference (COMPSAC), September 28-30, 2004, Hong Kong. Besides the technological motivation above, this second workshop is also motivated by the enthusiastic participation and success of the first IWSC.

This workshop will serve as an interaction platform for like-minded researchers and practitioners to (1) define/understand the emerging themes and directions of software cybernetics, (2) set forth the fundamental principles of control and software engineering on which software cybernetics must build, (3) articulate the on-going work in the area of software cybernetics and (4) chart out an agenda for future theoretical and experimental research in this area.



The objectives of this workshop are

(1). To further identify and set forth various seemingly unrelated research areas that impinge on the emerging area of software cybernetics.
(2). To further formulate and clarify the emerging fundamental principles of the new area, review the state-of-the-art, extend existing frontiers, and identify new research directions and application topics.
(3). To assist various researchers and practitioners in this new area to become acquainted, promote cooperation and collaboration among them, and encourage others to join this research area.

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

(1) Models and use of feedback mechanisms in software processes, simulation and systems
(2) Feedback control in software test process and fault-tolerant computing; active robust feedback policies for software security
(3) Robust software evolution using adaptive feedback control
(4) Self-adaptive, self-managing and learning software: architecture and algorithms
(5) Adaptive testing; fault detection and localization for self-correction in software and software processes
(6) Control of software rejuvenation, adaptive rejuvenation
(7) Relationship between bisimulation and controllability
(8) Application of supervisory control principles to software synthesis and safety control
(9) Software architectures for control systems; software enabled control
(10) Proactive and autonomic computing


Software technology and software systems greatly impact technological products, economic activities, defense, scientific research and social life. The complexity of software continues to grow. The failures of software projects and software systems may incur high financial costs and even human life. There is no doubt that various software development processes and the complicated behavior of software systems must be kept functional and even evolve in the context of a changing environment. Conceptually, this is precisely the purpose of control theory and hence the marriage of software and control engineering can be seen as the first stage in the development of software cybernetics.

Presently most software development follows ad hoc approaches and depends heavily on software development personnel and company resources. Feedback mechanisms, ubiquitous in software processes and systems, have not been formalized, quantified, or optimized. Since feedback and optimization are two central themes in control and decision theories, a natural question to further ask is: "what roles can feedback control based approaches play in the control of various software processes and systems and more fundamentally in their development?"

Further, the widespread deployment of computers and embedded software in control systems sets a challenge to existing control theories that do not account for the special characteristics of software. In order to achieve satisfactory control of processes or, for example, the future intelligent home, the evolutional feature of software should be considered in synthesizing control policies. An important example of such a synthesis is the improvement of the reliability of fly-by-wire systems in modern aircraft whose underlying control laws should be robust to certain classes of software faults. It seems reasonable to consider software problems in the light of control theoretic formulation.

Software cybernetics unifies and expands various seemingly unrelated research topics under different umbrellas such as adaptive software, adaptive rejuvenation, active security enhancement, the supervisory control approaches applied to software synthesis, etc. It also gives birth to new and challenging research topics such as feedback control of the software test process and adaptive testing.



  • February 28, 2005 (Extended): Deadline paper submissions
  • April 15, 2005: Notification acceptance
  • May 16, 2005: Camera-ready due


Papers must be submitted electronically via the IWSC05 2005 Submission Page. Please follow the instructions given by the web page. The format of submitted papers should follow the IEEE/ACM conference proceedings guidelines, including no page numbers. All papers will be carefully reviewed by at least three reviewers. Papers will be accepted (and can be submitted) as either regular papers, short papers, or fast abstracts. Acceptance and final category depends on reviewer feedback.

Accepted papers or fast abstracts will be published in the workshop proceedings of the 29th IEEE Computer Software and Applications Conference (COMPASC2005). At least one of the authors of each accepted paper or fast abstract must register as a full participant of the workshop to have the paper or fast abstract published in the proceedings.


Workshop Chairs

Fevzi Belli
Professor, Ph.D.
Faculty of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Mathematics
University of Paderborn
D-33098 Paderborn

Workshop Co-Chairs

Aditya P. Mathur
Professor, Ph.D.
Department of Computer Science
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Program Chair

Kai-Yuan Cai
Chair Professor, Ph.D.
Department of Automatic Control
Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Beijing 100083

Program Co-Chair

Raymond DeCarlo
Professor, Ph.D.
School of ECE
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Program Committee

Arnaud Bailly, Universite des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, France
Joao Cangussu, University of Texas at Dallas, USA
T.Y.Chen, Swunburne University of Technology, Australia
Bojan Cukic, West Virginia University, USA
K.-E. Grosspietsch, Fraunhofer Institut, Germany
Marc Loos, Guidant Corporation
Rick Karcich, Pillar Data Corporation
T.H.Tse, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
David Yau, Purdue University, USA


For updated information, please refer to or contact any one of the chairs or co-chairs listed above.


The authors of a number of selected papers of special merit will be invited to submit a revised and extended version of their papers for possible publication in a special issue in the Journal of Systems and Software.