TACAS 2019 Artifact Evaluation

As in 2018, TACAS’19 will include artifact evaluation for all types of papers. For regular tool papers and tool demonstration papers, artifact evaluation is compulsory (see the TACAS’19 call for papers), for research and case-study papers, it is voluntary (papers with accepted artifacts will receive a badge).

Compulsary Artifact Evaluation for Regular Tool Papers and Tool Demonstration Papers

In TACAS’19, regular tool papers and tool-demonstration papers are required to be accompanied by an artifact for evaluation by the Artifact Evaluation Committee (AEC). An artifact is any additional material (software, data sets, machine-checkable proofs, etc.) that substantiates the claims made in the paper and ideally makes them fully replicable. As an example, a typical artifact would consist of the tool (in binary or source code form) and its documentation, the input files (e.g., models analysed or programs verified) used for the tool evaluation in the paper, and a configuration file or document describing the parameters used in the experiments. The AEC will read the accepted paper and evaluate the submitted artifact w.r.t. the following criteria:

  • consistency with and replicability of results presented in the paper,
  • completeness,
  • documentation, and
  • ease of use.

Results of the evaluation will be taken into consideration during the review phase of TACAS’19. Papers that succeed in artifact evaluation and are accepted will receive a badge. The fact that not all experiments are reproducible (e.g., due to high computational demands) does not mean automatic rejection of the paper.

Artifact Evaluation for Research and Case-Study Papers

Authors of all accepted research papers and case-study papers for TACAS’19 will also be invited to submit an artifact (in this case, the submission is voluntary). The artifact will be evaluated using the same criteria as above. Authors of artifacts that are accepted by the AEC will receive a badge that can be shown on the title page of the corresponding paper.

Artifact Submission

An artifact submission consists of

  • an abstract that summarizes the artifact and its relation to the paper,
  • [for research and case-study papers] a .pdf file of the accepted paper (uploaded via EasyChair), which may be modified from the submitted version to take reviewers’ comments into account (for tool papers, the submitted .pdf file will be used),
  • a link to a .zip file (available for download) containing
    • a directory with the artifact itself,
    • a text file LICENSE that contains the license for the artifact (it is required that the license at least allows the AEC to evaluate the artifact w.r.t. the criteria mentioned above),
    • a text file README that contains detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to use the artifact to replicate the results in the paper, and
  • an indication whether the artifact will be publicly available and archived permanently.

Guidelines for Artifacts

We expect artifact submissions to package their artifact and write their instructions such that AEC members can evaluate the artifact using the TACAS 2019 Artifact Evaluation Virtual Machine for VirtualBox available here (login/password: “tacas19” / “a”, same password for root access). The virtual machine is based on Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS GNU/Linux operating system with the following additional packages: build-essential, cmake, clang, mono-complete, openjdk-8-jdk, ruby, and a 32-bit libc. Moreover, VirtualBox guest additions are installed on the VM, it is therefore possible to connect a shared folder from the host computer (see a how-to file in the HOME directory).

If the artifact requires additional software or libraries that are not part of the virtual machine, the instructions must include all necessary steps for their installation and setup. Any software that is not already part of the virtual machine must be included in the .zip file. AEC members will not download software or data from external sources, and the artifact must work without a network connection. In case you feel that this VM will not allow an adequate replication of the results in your paper, please contact the AEC co-chairs prior to artifact submission.

It is to the advantage of authors to prepare an artifact that is easy to evaluate by the AEC. Some guidelines:

  • Document in detail how to replicate most, or ideally all, of the (experimental) results of the paper using the artifact.
  • Keep the evaluation process simple through easy-to-use scripts and provide detailed documentation assuming minimum expertise of users.
  • For experiments that require a large amount of resources (hardware or time), it is recommended to provide a way to replicate a subset of the results of the paper with reasonably modest resources (RAM, number of cores), so that the results can be reproduced on various hardware platforms including laptops, and in a reasonable amount of time.
  • State the resource requirements, or the environment in which you successfully tested the artifact, in the instructions file (RAM, number of cores, CPU frequency).

Members of the AEC will use the submitted artifact for the sole purpose of artifact evaluation, We do, however, encourage authors to make their artifacts publicly and permanently available.

Artifact Evaluation Co-Chairs

Artifact Evaluation Committee

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