For the second year in a row, the IBM Haifa Verification Conference HVC06 drew a large crowd of design specification and testing specialists to the IBM Haifa Research Lab. The four-day HVC06 event was attended by over 150 researchers and IT developers from 12 different countries, representing over 40 companies and universities.
HVC06 featured three days of presentations and an additional half-day tutorial on PSL, the IEEE standard verification language. The three days were organized into tracks focusing on hardware verification, software testing, and tools used in both disciplines. The PSL tutorial was held at the Caesarea Rothschild Institute on the adjacent University of Haifa campus.
IBM Israel general manager Meir Nissensohn addressed the conference on the first day. "It's only natural that this conference should be held here at the Haifa Lab," he noted. "For years, the Haifa Research lab has established itself as one of the major centers of competency of verification work in IBM."
The conference featured keynote presentations from world-renowned computer science researchers. Randy Bryant, dean of the computer science program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, discussed a tool for analyzing the correctness of models of hardware and software systems in his talk "System Modeling and Formal Verification with UCLID". Michael A. Jackson, a software engineering pioneer and visiting professor at the Open University and University of Newcastle in the UK, explained the need to connect software functionality with real-world requirements in his address "Testing the Machine in the World."
Eyal Bin, the program chair of the conference from the Haifa Research lab, said the key to the conference's success was the high level of presentations.
"We received many excellent submissions to this year's conference, many of which addressed major and emerging topics in various areas of the industry," noted Bin. Those topics included alternative methods for test generation, linking between static and dynamic verification, deployment of PSL as a leading standard for verification tasks, and model-based development and formal verification for concurrent software. Bin also noted that the conference featured a number of innovations, such as an advanced online submission system for authors, a promotional video clip specially produced for HVC06, and a demo session of verification tools on the second day of the conference.
In addition to the serious nature of the lectures, conference participants enjoyed a number of lighter social events. During the days of the conference, interested participants took part in speed networking sessions that allowed them to meet other conference-goers in an organized fashion. The first day of the conference featured a cocktail party in the lobby of the Haifa Labs site that gave participants a chance to meet with event organizers and presenters. At the close of the third day of the conference, participants took part in a tour of the ancient city of Akko, declared in 2001 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The paper "Automatic Fault Localization for Property Checking" by Stefan Staber, Gerschwin Fey, Roderick Bloem, and Rolf Drechsler of Graz University of Technology in Austria won the best paper award at the conference. Presented by Staber in Haifa, the paper describes an efficient approach to fault localization for safety properties stated in linear time logic.
The proceedings of the conference will be published in a Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science book (LNCS) sometime in 2007. In the meantime, IBM Haifa conference organizers have already begun working on next year's event, tentatively scheduled for fall 2007.
Pictures of the Haifa Verification Conference 2006.