Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SOFTWARE ENGINEERING, VOL. 31, NO. 4, APRIL 2005. Copyright © 2005 IEEE. Used by permission.


The International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis (ISSTA) is the leading research conference in software testing and analysis. ISSTA brings together academics, industrial researchers, and practitioners to present and discuss the most promising approaches for using testing and analysis to assess and improve software and the processes by which it is engineered.
ISSTA 2004 was held in at the Parker House Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, July 11-14, 2004. On this occasion the conference was co-located with the 16th Computer- Aided Verification Conference (CAV 2004), with the two conferences sharing a day of sessions. The conference was also preceded by two workshops: the Workshop on Testing, Analysis, and Verification of Web Services and the Workshop on Empirical Research in Software Testing.
The number of submitted papers to ISSTA, and the ratio of that number to accepted papers, are a good indication of ISSTA’s health as a conference, and technical reputation. For ISSTA 2004, 93 research papers (a near record) and eight tools papers were submitted. Submissions were reviewed by at least three reviewers and discussed in a Program Committee meeting. The result was a high-quality technical program with 26 research papers and two tools papers.
This issue of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering presents a special section containing papers based on five of the best papers of ISSTA 2004. These papers were part of a set of seven papers selected by the ISSTA Program Committee from among the papers presented at the conference. The selected set, following revisions and enhancements by the authors, went through the standard TSE review process involving at least three anonymous reviewers per paper, overseen by myself as guest editor (or in one case on a paper on which I had a conflict, by John Knight). The result is a selection of five excellent papers.