ABZ 2016

Rigorous Methods’ Experts met in Linz

The 5th international conference on ABZ (ASM, Alloy, B, TLA, VDM, and Z) methods took place in Linz from May 23 to 27, 2016. The main focus of the conference was the cross-fertilization of six related state-based and machine-based rigorous methods: Abstract State Machines, Alloy, B, Temporal Logics of Actions, Vienna Development Method and Z. These methods share a common conceptual foundation and are widely used in both academia and industry for the design and analysis of hardware and software systems. About 65 researchers from all over the world attended this conference.


Dr. Atif Mashkoor and Dr. Miklos Biro

The conference committee received 61 submissions covering the whole spectrum of rigorous methods within the scope of the conference. The papers ranged from fundamental contributions, applications in industrial contexts, tools development and improvement, and contribution to the hemodialysis case study. Based on the submissions a diversified agenda was available for the participants. The diversity and relevance of the work presented, as well as the presence of significant industrial entities like Google and Thales, reflect a growing force in the community of rigorous methods.

Industrial and medical applications

Atif Mashkoor and Miklos Biro from the Software Competence Center Hagenberg held a special track on the application of rigorous methods for analysis and design of hemodialysis machines. 5 selected papers were presented in the track each focusing on unique aspects of medical device software. Felix Kossak and Atif Mashkoor from SCCH also presented a timely work on “How to Select the Suitable Formal Method for an Industrial Application: A Survey” that was commended by conference delegates for its contribution in making rigorous methods amenable for industrial deployment.

Pioneer of rigorous methods

Within the conference, one of the pioneers of Abstract State Machines, Prof. Dr. Egon Börger, celebrated his 70th birthday. A laudation in his honor was held by Prof. Elvinia Riccobene. She appreciated Prof. Börger’s efforts for applying logical methods to solve problems in computational complexity as well as defining Abstract State Machines as a rigorous but practical method for specifying and verifying complex software-based systems.   Prof. Börger held the keynote about “Comparing Abstract State Machine Models with Petri Nets for Distributed Algorithms.”

Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Schewe and Prof. Dr. Egon Börger

The conference was chaired and organized by Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Schewe from the Software Competence Center Hagenberg, and supported by RISC JKU. The proceedings of the conference can be found here:


The next ABZ conference will be held in Southampton in summer 2018.

More information could be found here: http://www.cdcc.faw.jku.at/ABZ2016