SATToSE 2020

SATToSE is the Seminar Series on Advanced Techniques & Tools for Software Evolution. Its 13th edition was supposed to take place in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) on July 1-2, 2020, but was held online instead. Past editions of SATToSE saw presentations on software visualisation techniques, tools for co-evolving various software artefacts, their consistency management, runtime adaptability and context-awareness, as well as empirical results about software evolution. SATToSE hosted invited talks, paper presentations, tutorials, and a hackathon, fostering interactions among participants and stimulating lively debates and discussions around the topics of interest of the event. We expect attendees to be active participants and not just passive listeners. Presenters should be open to and encourage questions and discussions during their talks.

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The goal of SATToSE is to gather both undergraduate and graduate students to showcase their research, exchange ideas, improve their communication skills, attend and contribute technology showdown and hackathons.

Given the current situation with COVID-19, the organizing and steering committee of SATToSE have decided to hold SATToSE 2020 virtually.

Would you like to watch the live stream of SATToSE 2020? Visit

If you have issues joining Discord, please contact Eleni Constantinou

Important Dates

Submission deadline 29 April 2020 13 May 2020 15 May 2020
Notification 21 May 2020 4 June 2020
Registration deadline 25 June 2020 28 June 2020
Camera-ready deadline 15 June 2020
Seminar 1-2 July 2020


Registration for SATToSE 2020 is closed, since the event already took place.

SATToSE 2020 was be a virtual event, meaning that there was no registration cost. However, registration was necessary to participate to SATToSE 2020.

Keynote Speakers

Anne Etien
"Rotten Green Tests": Rotten Green Tests are tests that appear to pass, but which contain assertions that are not executed. As a test smell, it is one of the worst; the code under test appears to be valid despite not having been tested. We initially identified this concepts on projects in the Pharo language environment. We now show that Rotten Green Tests also exist in Java and Python projects.
For each of the three language environments, we conducted an empirical evaluation of around one hundred mature projects, taking into account test helper methods, inherited helpers, and trait composition. Our results show that rotten green tests are present in Java and Python as well as Pharo, and that they fall into similar categories in all these languages. Furthermore, we found bugs in code that were hidden by rotten tests in two languages. Finally, we discuss two potentially new smells concerning the misuse of testing frameworks that we saw in all three languages.

See the presentation slides here

Anne Etien will be full professor at the Université de Lille from September 2020. She received a PhD degree from Université of Paris 1, France, in 2006. She is a member of Inria Lille and the RMoD team. Her research interests concern reengineering and evolution of complex legacy systems. She supervised 8 PhD students, published around 50 articles mainly in international conference or journal paper. Finally, she is member of various program committees such as ICSME 2020 or ICSE 2021 and was Sattose 2019 program chain in Bolzano.

Tom Mens
"On the fragility of open source software packaging ecosystems": In the last couple of years, the Software Engineering Lab of the University of Mons has extensively studied different aspects of open source software package management ecosystems (including among others Cargo, npm, Packagist and Rubygems). These ecosystems contain a large number of package releases with many interdependencies. They face challenges related to their scale, complexity and rate of evolution. Typical problems are backward incompatible package updates, and the increasing proportion of "fragile" packages due to an excessive number of transitive dependencies. This talk reports on our findings based on multiple empirical studies that we have conducted to understand different aspects of dependency management and their practical implications. In particular, we focus on the outdatedness of package dependencies, measurable with the concept of "technical lag"; as well as on the implications of package dependency constraints on respecting the semantic versioning policy.

See the presentation slides here

Tom Mens is full professor at the University of Mons, Belgium, where he has been directing the Software Engineering Lab for over 15 years. He co-edited two Springer books “Software Evolution” and “Evolving Software Systems” and published numerous highly-cited software engineering articles in peer-reviewed international software engineering conferences and journals. His current research revolves around empirical software engineering, software evolution, software ecosystems, and open source software health. He is coordinator of the Belgian FNRS-FWO Excellence of Science project SECO-ASSIST (


The Software Improvement Group (SIG) hosted the SATToSE 2020 hackathon with call graph data in the context of the FASTEN project.


All sessions took place on Zoom (provided by the UvA). To facilitate some social interaction, we would kindly ask participants to personalize their Zoom profile photo and try to turn on your camera at least during the Q&A part of each talk. Many thanks!

Detailed program
(all times are in UTC time, please consult with a timezone converter like

Wednesday July 1st
09:00 - 09:15 Opening
09:15 - 10:00 Keynote by Anne Etien, "Rotten Green Tests". Chair: Ana Oprescu
10:00 - 10:45 Break (breakrooms available)
10:45 - 11:30 Hackathon Introduction
11:30 - 11:45 Break (breakrooms available)
11:45 - 12:45 Paper session 1 - Legacy and microservices. Chair: Csaba Nagy
12:45 - 13:00 Break (breakrooms available)
13:00 - 14:00 Paper session 2 - Mining software repositories. Chair: Ana Oprescu
14:00 - 14:05 Closing of the day
14:05 - 14:30 Q&A on the hackathon (dedicated channel on discord/zoom)

Thursday July 2nd
11:10 - 11:15 Opening day 2
11:15 - 12:15 Paper session 3 - Evolution and dependencies. Chair: Ali Parsai
12:15 - 12:30 Break (breakrooms available)
12:30 - 13:15 Keynote by Tom Mens, "On the fragility of open source software packaging ecosystems". Chair: Eleni Constantinou
13:15 - 13:30 Break (breakrooms available)
13:30 - 14:30 Paper session 4 - Evolution theory and practice. Chair: Felipe Ebert
14:30 - 14:40 Break (breakrooms available)
14:40 - 15:10 Hackathon results
15:10 - 15:25 Closing

Accepted papers

(Wednesday, 11:45-12:05 UTC - Paper session 1, Work in progress) Wouter Bohlken, Machiel van der Bijl and Ana Maria Oprescu. Model-Based Fuzzing Using Symbolic Transition Systems - Download here

(Wednesday, 12:05-12:25 UTC - Paper session 1, Work in progress) Céline Deknop, Johan Fabry, Kim Mens and Vadim Zaytsev. Advanced Differencing of Legacy Code and Migration Logs - Download here

(Wednesday, 12:25-12:45 UTC - Paper session 1, Work in progress) Jakob Löhnertz and Ana Maria Oprescu. Steinmetz: Toward automatic decomposition of monolithic software into microservices - Download here

(Wednesday, 13:00-13:20 UTC - Paper session 2, Presentation Abstract) Zeinab Abou Khalil. On the impact of release policies on bug handing activity: A case study of Eclipse. - Download presentation here

(Wednesday, 13:20-13:40 UTC - Paper session 2, Presentation Abstract/Work in progress) Mehdi Golzadeh, Damien Legay, Alexandre Decan and Tom Mens. Bot or not? Detecting bots in GitHub pull request activity based on comment similarity - Download here

(Wednesday, 13:40-14:00 UTC - Paper session 2, Artefact demonstration) David Arroyo Menéndez, Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona and Gregorio Robles. Damegender: Writing and Comparing Gender Detection Tools - Download here

(Thursday, 11:15-11:35 UTC - Paper session 3, Work in progress) Hagen Tarner, Veit Frick, Martin Pinzger and Fabian Beck. Visualizing Evolution and Performance Metrics on Method-Level as Multivariate Data - Download here

(Thursday, 11:35-11:55 UTC - Paper session 3, Work in progress) Damien Legay, Alexandre Decan and Tom Mens. On Package Freshness in Linux Distributions. - Download presentation here

(Thursday, 11:55-12:15 UTC - Paper session 3, Work in progress) Núria Bruch Tàrrega, Miroslav Zivkovic and Ana Oprescu. Measuring the impact of library dependency on maintenance - Download here

(Thursday, 13:30-13:50 UTC - Paper session 4, Work in progress) Alex Stoll, Marcos Chaim, Tosin Daniel Oyetoyan and Daniela S. Cruzes. OAS DB: A Repository of Specifications to Support OpenAPI Research - Download here

(Thursday, 13:50-14:10 UTC - Paper session 4, Work in progress) Wouter Loeve and Clemens Grelck. Towards Facilitating Resilience in Cyber-Physical Systems using Coordination Languages - Download here

(Thursday, 14:10-14:30 UTC - Paper session 4, Work in progress) Quinten Leidekker, Ana-Maria Oprescu and Lodewijk Bergmans. Causal Inference for Theory Building in Software Evolution - Download here


  • General Chair
    • Ana Oprescu, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Program Chair
    • Eleni Constantinou, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Hackathon Chair
  • Steering Committee

Call for Papers

Topics of Interest

Contributions are solicited on all aspects of software and model evolution, practices, and technologies. In particular, we encourage submissions about the following (non-exhaustive) list of topics:

  • Supporting tools, processes, and models for managing software evolution
  • Industrial needs, case studies and experiences
  • Software analytics and visualisation techniques to support software evolution
  • Empirical studies in evolution and maintenance
  • Program transformation, refactoring, renovation, and migration
  • Program and/or data reverse engineering
  • Evolution of data-intensive or process-intensive systems
  • Approaches of model-driven software evolution
  • Software evolution for emerging paradigms
  • Coupled evolution of meta-models, models, and transformations
  • Classification of evolution scenarios
  • Reliability and security aspects of software evolution
  • Negative research results in software evolution
  • Software ecosystem evolution
  • Formalisms, notations, theories, methods, and languages for expressing software evolution
  • Conformance checking, inconsistency management, synchronisation, differencing, comparison, versioning, impact analysis of evolving models

SaTToSE 2020 aims to increase the interaction between PhD students and more experienced researchers. For this reason, SATToSE introduced for the first time the “mentor” concept. Each PhD student submitting a Work-in-Progress paper had a senior member as a mentor during the seminar (different than their PhD supervisor). The goal is to stimulate discussion between PhD students and senior researchers to provide feedback on their research and promote discussions and collaborations.

Submission Guidelines

Contributions are managed through EasyChair. Please submit your paper using the following link:
We solicit papers/abstracts of up to 5 pages, in one of the following forms:

  • Work in Progress (5-page limit + up to 2 pages of references): Early ideas and achievements that you want to share with the community and get feedback on.
  • Publication Summary (3-page limit+ up to 2 pages of references): Overview of research results already published or ready to be submitted to a conference or a journal.
  • Artifact Presentation (5-page limit + up to 2 pages of references): Technical explanation of important features of an artifact (e.g., tool, library, data set, test suite, methodology)

To submit your contribution, you need to specify:

  • title of the presentation
  • list of author(s)
  • extended abstract of your presentation
  • desired category of your work as a subtitle and as a topic on easychair (Work in Progress, Publication Summary, or Artifact Presentation)

Please adhere to this latex style, two column style (paper2p.tex and twocolpceurws.sty). This format is compatible with the the CEUR Workshop Proceedings.

All submissions were reviewed and screened for scope and compatibility by the program committee, which provided feedback for improving the abstract and preparing the talk. All contributions accepted for presentation, received 10–30 minutes during the event for presentation and discussion. Submitters were also offered the opportunity to receive feedback and guidance to improve their submission towards a formally published paper, in a SATToSE post-proceedings issue of an open access journal. Please note that authors of publication summaries cannot publish their SATToSE summary as their work is already published.

All the presented slides and pointers to related resources were collected and made publicly available.

Programme Committee

  • Maurício Aniche, Delft University of Technology
  • Gemma Catolino, Delft University of Technology
  • Alexandre Decan, University of Mons
  • Felipe Ebert, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Vasiliki Efstathiou, Athens University of Economics and Business
  • Anne Etien, CRIStAL - University of Lille
  • Clemens Grelck, University of Amsterdam
  • Verena Herbold, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
  • Maria Kechagia, University College London
  • Cristina Marinescu, Politehnica University Timisoara
  • Lina María Ochoa Venegas, Centrum Winskunde & Informatica
  • Gregorio Robles, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
  • Tushar Sharma, Siemens Corporate Technology
  • Ioana Sora, Politehnica University of Timisoara
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