affiliated with the
European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software (ETAPS 2020)

April 26 2020
Dublin, Ireland


Specification formalisms and modelling techniques have often been developed with formal analysis and formal verification in mind. To show applicability, toy examples or tiny case studies are typically presented in research papers. When the theory needs to be developed, this approach is reasonable. However, to show that a developed approach actually scales to real systems, large case studies are essential.

The development of formal models of real systems usually requires a perfect understanding of informal descriptions of systems which are usually just written in English. Based on the type of system, an adequate specification formalism needs to be chosen, and the informal specification translated into it. Abstraction from unimportant details then yields an accurate, formal model of the real system. The process of developing a detailed and accurate model usually takes a large amount of time, often months or years; without even starting a formal analysis.

When publishing the results on a formal analysis in a scientific paper, details of the model have to be skipped due to lack of space, and often the lessons learnt from modelling are not discussed since they are not within the main focus of the paper.

The MARS workshop aims at discussing exactly these unmentioned lessons, emphasising modelling over verification.

Examples are:

  • Which formalism was chosen, and why?
  • Which abstractions have been made, and why?
  • How were important characteristics of the system modelled?
  • Were there any complications while modelling the system?
  • Which measures were taken to guarantee the accuracy of the model?

We thus invite papers that present full models of real systems, which may lay the basis for future comparison and analysis. The MARS workshop intends to bring together researchers from different communities who are developing formal models of real systems, especially in areas where large models occur, such as networks, cyber-physical systems, or hardware/software codesign. An aim of the workshop is to present different modelling approaches and discuss the pros and cons of each of them.

In addition to the EPTCS proceedings, the formal models presented during the workshop will be archived in the MARS repository, a growing, diverse collection of realistic benchmarks, provided in machine-readable form and licensed under Creative Commons. The existence of the MARS repository is a unique feature that makes MARS papers available to the wider community so that others can reproduce experiments, perform further analyses, and try the same case studies with different formal methods.


Submissions must be unpublished and not be submitted for publication elsewhere. Contributions are limited to 12 pages EPTCS style (not counting references and the appendices), but shorter extended abstracts are welcome. Appendices (of arbitrary length) can be used to present all details of a formalised model; the appendices will be part of the proceedings. In case a formal model is presented in some formalism or tool, such as timed automata for Uppaal or formal proofs for Isabelle/HOL, these models have to be submitted in totality as well, in the appendices and/or as a TAR or ZIP file, the contents of which, for accepted papers will be made available in our Repository of Models for Formal Analysis of Real Systems.
Submissions must be in English and submitted in PDF format via EasyChair. The TAR or ZIP file with the model should be send as an email attachment to All submissions will be peer-reviewed by at least three referees based on their novelty, relevance and technical merit. The proceedings will be published as part of the open-access series Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science (EPTCS).

Important Dates (AoE)

Submission: Sunday, January 12, 2020
Notification: Sunday, February 23, 2020
Final version: Sunday, March 15, 2020
Workshop: Sunday, April 26, 2018

Call for Papers

As mentioned above, we invite papers that present full Models of Real Systems, which may lay the basis for future formal analysis. The full CFP can be found here.

Organising Committee

Ansgar Fehnker (University of Twente, The Netherlands)
Hubert Garavel (INRIA Grenoble Rhône-Alpes , France)

Venue and Travel Information

The workshop is part of the European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software (ETAPS 2020). Information about venue and travelling in/to Greece can be found at the webpage of ETAPS.

Workshop Organisers and Contact

All questions about the workshop should be emailed to