Since software today is larger and more complex than ever before, it is not surprising that the debugging process is becoming more difficult and costly. Yet, at the same time, this presents golden opportunities for researchers to have a significant impact on solving real-world problems. While manual debugging is impractical for large software, techniques that claim to effectively locate a fault have not matured to the desired level of accuracy, consistency, and usability. Developers face many obstacles during the debugging process, for example ambiguities of distinguishing executions in the presence of multiple causative faults, difficulties in reliably recording and replaying failed executions, and uncertainty that bug fixes might introduce even more faults into the software. Furthermore, many existing approaches suffer from critical shortcomings that limit their applicability, for example the complexity and lack of scalability of formal verification, the imprecision of static analysis, the high performance cost of dynamic techniques, non-productive human-centric debugging environments, or high setup and operating costs. Researchers often rely on simplified assumptions or model their solutions after methods to handle selected subject programs that do not accurately reflect the complexity in large-scale industrial software and related development processes. Practitioners thus raise the question of which value research proposals can add to their actual work.

The goal of IWPD is to highlight the most pressing challenges, as well as innovative solutions associated with program debugging, especially with respect to software business, methodologies, techniques, environments, and human factors. Experience reports from industry or empirical studies on these aspects are welcome. IWPD will bring together researchers and practitioners in order to discuss the latest advancements and determine further challenges that must be overcome in the area of program debugging.

The workshop welcomes submissions that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  Strategies for effective and efficient program debugging
  Challenges and emerging techniques in program debugging for
        large scale real-life applications and domain-specific applications

  Debugging for multi-(core, process, or threaded) programs
  Empirical studies and open source-based benchmarking infrastructure
  Experience reports and industrial best practices
  Impacts of software business, human factors, programming languages,
        and tool environments on program debugging

  Integrating debugging with other software development and
        maintenance activities

  Social aspects of program debugging
  Software risk analysis and cost estimation for fault localization,
        bug fixing, and their social interactions

  Transitioning from research to practice
  Pedagogical models for effectively teaching program debugging


At least one author of each accepted paper (including panelists’ position statements) must register with the full fee and present at the workshop in order for the paper to be included in the ISSRE 2015 Supplemental Proceedings. Papers will also be submitted to the IEEE Xplore database and indexed by all the abstracting and indexing partners (such as the EI Compendex).

EMSE Journal Special Issue

Authors of selected papers from IWPD 2015 will be invited to submit an extended version to a special issue of Empirical Software Engineering (EMSE). More details will be provided shortly. However, such an invitation does not imply acceptance of the paper. All the submissions will be evaluated following the guidelines set by EMSE. Only those which satisfy all the criteria will be accepted for publication.

Best Paper Award

At least one award will be presented. Authors will receive a certificate signed by the President of the IEEE Reliability Society and the Organizers of IWPD 2015.

Panelists Solicitation

There will be a special panel on Challenges in Teaching Program Debugging at the workshop. Qualified panelists are solicited to report their experience of teaching debugging techniques to computer science students and what is in their opinion the right way to prepare students for debugging software in industry while still communicating the scientific theory.

Please contact Program co-Chairs, Professor Rui Abreu and Dr. Birgit Hofer, for more details.

Important Dates

    August 20 (11:59:59 pm EST USA), 2015       Submission deadline
    September 4, 2015       Notification to authors
    September 15, 2015       Camera-ready copies
    November 2, 2015       Workshop


Submit original papers (not published or submitted elsewhere) with a maximum of 8 pages. Include the title of the paper, the name and affiliation of each author, a 150-word abstract, and up to 6 keywords. Both research papers and industry experience reports are welcome. All the submissions must be written in English, follow the IEEE conference proceedings format, and be uploaded via the workshop submission site. Each submission will be reviewed by three PC members. Paper selection is based on originality, technical contribution, presentation, and relevance to IWPD.

Steering Committee

W. Eric Wong (chair) University of Texas at Dallas USA
T.H. Tse (chair) The University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
Hira Agrawal Applied Communication Sciences
(formerly Bellcore/Telcordia Technologies)
W. K. Chan City University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
James A. Jones University of California, Irvine USA
Franz Wotawa Graz University of Technology Austria

Program Committee Chairs

Rui Abreu Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) USA
Birgit Hofer Graz University of Technology Austria

Program Committee

Artur AndrzejakHeidelberg UniversityGermany
George BaahMIT Lincoln LabUSA
Haipeng CaiUniversity of Notre DameUSA
W. K. ChanCity University of Hong KongHong Kong
Zhenyu ChenNanjing UniversityChina
Byoungju ChoiEwha Womans UniversityKorea
Junhua DingEast Carolina UniversityUSA
Yunwei DongNorthwestern Polytechnical UniversityChina
Sudipto GhoshColorado State UniversityUSA
Alex GroceOregon State UniversityUSA
Michael GrottkeFriedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-NürnbergGermany
Gregory KapfhammerAllegheny CollegeUSA
Wes MasriAmerican University of BeirutLebanon
Wolfgang MayerUniversity of South AustraliaAustralia
Bruce McMillinMissouri University of Science and TechnologyUSA
Andy PodgurskiCase Western Reserve UnversityUSA
Markus StumptnerUniversity of South AustraliaAustralia
William SumnerSimon Fraser UniversityCanada
Dianxiang XuBoise State UniversityUSA
Howell YeeMIT Lincoln LabUSA
Zhenyu ZhangInstitute of Software, Chinese Academy of SciencesChina

Web Master

Yihao Li University of Texas at Dallas USA

PC Login

Please click here to log in your PC account for IWPD 2015.

Workshop Venue

IWPD 2015 will be held in conjunction with ISSRE 2015 at NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. Please visit the ISSRE website for further information.

Main Contact:

Professor W. Eric Wong
MS EC 31
Department of Computer Science
University of Texas at Dallas
800 West Campbell Road
Richardson, Texas 75080, USA
Tel.: (972) 883-6619
Fax: (972) 883-2399
Email: ewong(at)

For any inquiry related to paper submission and review, please contact Program co-Chairs, Professor Rui Abreu and Dr. Birgit Hofer

Previous IWPD

  IWPD 2014 - Naples, Italy (in conjunction with ISSRE 2014)
  IWPD 2013 - Pasadena, CA, USA (in conjunction with ISSRE 2013)
  IWPD 2012 - Dallas, TX, USA (in conjunction with ISSRE 2012)
  IWPD 2011 - Munich, Germany (in conjunction with COMPSAC 2011)
  IWPD 2010 - Zhangjiajie, China (in conjunction with QSIC 2010)

IWPD 2015 Program

IWPD Program for Monday, November 2nd 2015:

Session 1: 9:15 - 10:30
Chair: Rui Abreu

  • Welcome and Opening
    Eric Wong (Steering Committee Chair)
  • Practical Null Pointer Dereference Detection via Value-Dependence Analysis
    Sen Ma
  • RC-Tree: A Variant Avoiding All the Redundancy in Reiter's Minimal Hitting Set Algorithm
    Ingo Pill and Thomas Quaritsch

Session 2: 11:00 - 12:30
Panel: "Challenges in Teaching Program Debugging"
Moderator: Eric Wong
Panelists: Ram Chillarege and Atif Memon

Session 3: 14:00 - 15:30
Chair: Birgit Hofer

  • Disqover: Debugging via Code Sequence Covers
    Ethar Elsaka and Atif Memon
  • Applying Spectrum-based Fault Localization to Generate Debugging Suggestions for Student Programmers
    Bob Edmison and Stephen H. Edwards
  • Parse Tree Structure in LTL Requirements Diagnosis
    Ingo Pill, Thomas Quaritsch, and Franz Wotawa

Session 4: 16:00 - 17:30
Chair: Rui Abreu

  • Scrutinizing Faulty User Input In Case of Automated Debugging
    Franz Wotawa (Invited Talk)