As software today is larger and more complex than ever before, it is not surprising that the debugging process is also much more difficult and costly. Yet, at the same time, this presents golden opportunities for researchers to produce significant impacts on solving real-world problems. While manual debugging is quickly becoming impractical, techniques that claim to effectively locate a fault have not matured to the desired level of accuracy, consistency, and usability. Among the obstacles that developers face during the debugging process are the ambiguity of distinguishing executions in the presence of multiple causative faults, the difficulty in reliably recording and replaying failed executions, and the uncertainty that bug fixes might introduce more faults into the software. Furthermore, many existing approaches suffer from critical shortcomings that limit their applicability, such as 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, and the high setup and operating costs. Studies are underway to resolve these problems, but 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 its development process. Practitioners question whether such research proposals can add much value to their work.

The goal of IWPD is to highlight the most pressing challenges and innovative solutions associated with program debugging, especially with respect to software business, methodologies, techniques, environments, and human factors. Experience reports from the industry or empirical studies on these aspects are welcome. IWPD will bring together researchers and practitioners 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

Proceedings and Journal Special Issue

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 to be included in the ISSRE 2014 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).

Authors of selected papers will be invited to submit an extended version to a special issue of the Software Quality Journal called Program Debugging: Research, Practice, and Challenges.

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 2014.

Panel Description [pdf]

Panelists Solicitation

There will be a special panel on Program Debugging: Research & Practice at the workshop. Qualified panelists are solicited to report their experience of applying research methodologies and techniques to debugging large and complex real-life software systems and the challenges that they had to overcome. Interested parties should send a one-page position statement to the Program Chairs, who will make the final decision on the panelists to be invited.

PowerPoint slides [Eric Wong] [Franz Wotawa]

Discussion Summary [pdf]

Important Dates

    August 22, 2014       Extended submission deadline
    September 5, 2014       Notification of authors
    September 20, 2014       Camera-ready
    November 3-6, 2014       The Workshop


Submit original papers (not published or submitted elsewhere) with a maximum of 6 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 through 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

Sudipto Ghosh Colorado State University USA
J. Jenny Li Kean University USA

Program Committee

Rui AbreuUniversity of Porto Portugal
Artur AndrzejakHeidelberg University Germany
George BaahMIT Lincoln LaboratoryUSA
T. Y. ChenSwinburne University of TechnologyAustralia
Zhenyu ChenNanjing UniversityChina
Byoungju ChoiEwha Woman's UniversityKorea
James ClauseUniversity of DelawareUSA
Valentin DallmeierSaarland UniversityGermany
Junhua DingEast Carolina UniversityUSA
Yunwei DongNorthwestern Polytechnical UniversityChina
Alex GroceOregon State UniversityUSA
Michael Grottke Friedrich-Alexander-Universitšt and U. of Erlangen-NurembergGermany
Gregory KapfhammerAllegheny CollegeUSA
Wes MasriAmerican University of BeirutLebanon
Wolfgang MayerUniversity of South AustraliaAustralia
Bruce McMillinMissouri University of Science and TechnologyUSA
Andy PodgurskiCase Western Reserve UniversityUSA
Raul SantelicesUniversity of Notre DameUSA
Tony SavorFacebookUSA
Markus StumptnerUniversity of South AustraliaAustralia
William SumnerSimon Fraser UniversityCanada
Dianxiang XuDakota State UniversityUSA
Zhenyu ZhangInstitute of Software, Chinese Academy of SciencesChina

Web Master

Shou-Yu Lee University of Texas at Dallas USA

PC Login

Please click here to log in your PC account for IWPD 2014.

Workshop Venue

IWPD 2014 will be held in conjunction with ISSRE 2014 at Naples, Italy. 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 Sudipto Ghosh and Professor J. Jenny Li.

Previous IWPD

  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)

Final Program

IWPD Welcome and Opening
Monday, Nov. 3, 09:15 – 09:30

Welcome Message: Eric Wong (Chair, Steering Committee)

IWPD #1: Event Set and Trace Reduction
Monday, Nov. 3, 09:30 – 10:30

Chair: Birgit Hofer

  1. Hanefi Mercan and Cemal Yilmaz
    Pinpointing Failure Inducing Event Orderings
  2. Teemu Kanstrén and Marsha Chechik
    Trace Reduction and Pattern Analysis to Assist Debugging in Model-Based Testing

IWPD #2: Panel Discussion: Program Debugging – Research and Practice
Monday, Nov. 3, 11:00 – 12:30

Moderator: Eric Wong
Panelists: Mladen Vouk and Franz Wotawa

IWPD #3: Debugging with Support for Reliability, Static Analysis, and Temporal Assertions
Monday, Nov. 3, 14:00 – 15:30

Chair: Wei Dong

  1. Wafa Jaffal and Jeff Tian
    Defect Analysis and Reliability Assessment for Transactional Web Applications
  2. Qian Wang, Dahai Jin, and Yunzhan Gong
    A Memory Model Based on Three-Valued Matrix for Static Defect Detection
  3. Ziad Al-Sharif, Clinton Jeffery, and Mahmoud Said
    Debugging with Dynamic Temporal Assertions

IWPD #4: Quality and Applicability of Debugging and Fault Localization
Monday, Nov. 3, 16:00 – 18:00

Chair: Ziad Al Sharif

  1. Birgit Hofer
    Spectrum-Based Fault Localization for Spreadsheets: Influence of Correct Output Cells on the Fault Localization Quality
  2. Benjamin Siegmund, Michael Perscheid, Marcel Taeumel, and Robert Hirschfeld
    Studying the Advancement in Debugging Practice of Professional Software Developers